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November 1916. Matthew is fighting in the horrific Battle of the Somme but at Downton Robert, given a courtesy title as head of the local yeomanry but deemed too old to fight, and William, forbidden by his father to enlist, feel frustrated as white feathers are given to non-combatants. Sybil also feels useless and goes to York for nursing training whilst Mary hides her disappointment when Matthew, home on leave, brings his betrothed, Lavinia Swire, to meet her. She nonetheless sees him off, giving him her lucky mascot, as he returns to the fighting, Back in the trenches he meets Thomas, sick of the war, who deliberately gets himself wounded. John returns from his mother's funeral, hoping to buy off his greedy wife Vera with his inheritance and marry Anna. However, now that he has money, Vera turns up and threatens to expose Anna's part in Mary's indiscretion with the Turk Panuk unless he leaves with her immediately - which he does. Fortunately a suspicious Mrs. Hughes has overheard them and gets Carson to put Robert in the picture without exposing Mary. Unaware of this, a sorrowful Anna is comforted by Ethel, the starstruck new maid who is felt by the other staff to have ideas above her station.
- Writers: Julian Fellowes
- Stars: Allen Leech , Brendan Coyle , Dan Stevens , David Robb , Elizabeth McGovern , Hugh Bonneville , Jim Carter , Joanne Froggatt , Kevin Doyle , Laura Carmichael , Lesley Nicol , Lily James , Maggie Smith , Michelle Dockery , Penelope Wilton , Phyllis Logan , Raquel Cassidy , Rob James-Collier , Siobhan Finneran , Sophie McShera