The Hero's Farewell

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"The Hero's Farewell"
'Upstairs, Downstairs' episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 10
Directed by Bill Bain
Written by Rosemary Anne Sisson
Production code 10
Original air date 16 November 1974
Episode chronology
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"Another Year"
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"Missing Believed Killed"
List of Upstairs, Downstairs episodes

The Hero's Farewell is the tenth episode of the fourth series of the period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. It first aired on 16 November 1974 on ITV.


The Hero's Farewell was recorded in the studio on 8 and 9 August 1974. Rosemary Anne Sisson used the diaries of Lady Cynthia Asquith as inspiration for this episode, as she had for her earlier episode Tug of War.[1] It is set shortly before October 1917.



Lady Prudence brings Mr. Gerald Maitland, a famous actor, to 165, Eaton Place and persuades Richard to hold a series of historical tableau, entitled The Hero's Farewell, in aid of the Red Cross. Lady Prudence knows that Hazel would never agree, she has used the opportunity of Hazel being in Eastbourne. Lady Prudence and Gerald Maitland then organise the tableau, with tableaux of "Anthony and Cleopatra", "Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton" and "Columbus and Queen Isabella". Georgina is home on leave and she is chosen to portray Florence Nightingale, while Ruby is to portray a Belgian peasant girl with Lady Prudence as a German officer. Lady Prudence asks Hudson to wear a kilt to show in the guests, but he refuses to.

Meanwhile downstairs, Mrs Bridges and Ruby go to a "War Cooking" lecture after pressure from Mr Hudson. Mrs Bridges starts to make meals from leftovers, including "Win the War Pie", much to everyone's distaste.

At the dress rehearsal for the historical tableux, an air raid strikes and Ruby becomes hysterical. The whole household goes down to the basement, while Hudson goes out in his role as a special constable. When he comes back, he faints having been hit by a piece of shrapnel and goes to hospital. The day after the raid, a telegraph arrives; James is "missing believed killed".


  1. ^ Marson, Richard (2005). "Inside UpDown - The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs". Kaleidoscope Publishing.