Who died in Call the Midwife and what you need to know about the most dramatic episode so far

If you’re wondering who died in Call the Midwife, prepare for tears after *that* season 11 finale…

Who died in Call the Midwife as the season finale explores the train crash aftermath
(Image credit: BBC)

Who died in Call the Midwife was the question on many anxious fans’ minds ahead of the season 11 finale and it turned out to be one of the most dramatic episodes of the show so far.

Ever since it first landed in 2012, Call the Midwife has had us hooked with its blend of heart-warming and devastating moments. Nothing showcased this more clearly than the penultimate episode of season 11, which made for seriously tense viewing. Fans were left terrified after the Call the Midwife train crash left several fan-favourite characters’ fates unknown. For historical fiction lovers who’ve been working out how to watch The Gilded Age or excitedly waiting for the Downton Abbey sequel, there’s never been a better time to catch-up on the epic highs and lows of Call the Midwife after *that* season finale. 

But who died in Call the Midwife, who survived and who was the episode dedicated to? We reveal all the heart-stopping moments of season 11 episode 8…

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

Call the Midwife season 11 finale

(Image credit: BBC)

Who died in Call the Midwife? 

Going into the season 11 finale it was clear that many tears would be shed, with many fans wondering who died in Call the Midwife after the shocking cliff-hanger ending of episode 7 left things looking incredibly bleak for not only those aboard the train but the entire community. Revealing the outcome of the train crash no-one saw coming, it emerged that two characters tragically lost their lives—Lionel Corbett and Dorothy Carnie

Call the Midwife season 11 episode 8

(Image credit: BBC)

Lionel, played by former EastEnders star Marc Elliot, was the train driver whose sudden illness at the wheel saw him become unresponsive, leading the train to crash upon arriving at Poplar. Whilst many viewers might’ve expected Lionel to be counted amongst the dead due to the heavy damage sustained, things took an even more emotional turn as Lionel was revealed to be integral to a subplot in the episode.

In the Call the Midwife finale, fans saw a woman named Edina give birth and it was then revealed that she was Mrs Lionel Corbett. Having just given birth to her son, she was informed that her husband would never meet their baby and that she was now a widow by the midwives. In the depths of grief, Edina was told that Lionel had died from a brain tumour, giving her the small comfort of knowing the crash wasn’t due to his recklessness.

Call the Midwife season 11 episode 8

(Image credit: BBC)

The other character who died in Call the Midwife was Dorothy Carnie (Stephanie Jacob), who had been serving tea to passengers on the train. Despite the best efforts of Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) and Dr Turner (Stephen McGann), the injuries she sustained during the crash were just too severe.

But whilst the loss of Lionel and Dorothy was keenly felt in the finale, for many people there was a huge sense of relief that there weren't two more characters who died in Call The Midwife this time...

Which Call the Midwife characters survived and are they still injured?

Despite fears that two of the most long-standing and loved Call the Midwife cast members could be leaving, thankfully both Sister Julienne and Dr Turner survived. This means plenty more brilliant acting from Jenny Agutter and Stephen McGann to look forward to, but things weren't looking good for their characters ahead of the finale. 

The pair had been travelling back from a conference on the train with Nurse Nancy Corrigan when it crashed and the final scenes of episode 7 didn’t give much hope that they would survive, with the Sister unresponsive and Dr Turner barely moving. 

Call the Midwife starring Max MacMillan

(Image credit: BBC)

In the Call the Midwife finale, however, both were eventually pulled from the train and taken off for urgent treatment after trainee doctor Timothy Turner arrived to help as a medic. Making his way through the wreckage Timothy found his father and Sister Julienne just in time, believing that the sister was experiencing a heart attack.

Fans could then breathe a sigh of relief after a week of anxious waiting, knowing that both fan-favourites had survived. Though neither Dr Turner nor Sister Julienne will be back at work any time soon as they continue to recover from their injuries, including his concussion and her broken ribs, as well as her advanced state of shock mistakenly identified by Timothy as a heart attack.

Call the Midwife starring Jenny Agutter and Stephen McGann

(Image credit: BBC)

Despite the eventual relief of knowing that both made it through the Call the Midwife train crash, fans were still left devastated by the emotional turmoil of the episode. 

“My emotions are all over the place and feel like I’ve run a marathon after watching call the midwife!” one fan wrote as they reflected on the incredible highs and lows of the finale. 

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“What an episode of call the midwife tonight. Emotional mess. Credit to Heidi #CallTheMidwife”, another said, giving a special shout-out to Call the Midwife writer Heidi Thomas.

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“Oh thank god!! 🙏🏻☘️☺️💕☘️☺️💕☘️”, a third person wrote, posting two pictures of Dr Turner and Sister Julienne safe and sound. “This series is exceptional in every way! All the characters have stolen my heart ❤️ @StephenMcGann #JennyAugtter”.

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Someone else reflected on their sense of loss now that Call the Midwife season 11 is over as they praised the show’s huge range of moments. They declared, “How am [I] going to spend Sundays now? 😂 @CallTheMidwife1 has the ability to capture every emotion & leave you guessing till the end. It's phenomenal ❤️❤️”.

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With a Call the Midwife 2022 Christmas special and two more seasons already confirmed for the hit BBC show, we can’t wait to see the Call the Midwife cast return later this year. And after the dramatic season 11 finale set such a high bar, there'll surely be even more emotional rollercoasters in store when they do...

Who is Kev Corbishley from Call the Midwife? 

If you're wondering who is Kev Corbishley from Call the Midwife is, then you're probably not alone. The long-running drama dedicated the season 11 finale to him, sharing a poignant message ahead of the credits that read simply, "In memory of Kev Corbishley 1965-2022". 

Taking to Twitter, one viewer wanted to know more about the tribute, asking, "Loved tonight’s episode. Can you tell me about the tribute at the end of the credits please?"

In response, the Call the Midwife official account kindly commented back, "A dearly loved member of our crew who died very recently. He will be missed. xx ❤️"

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According Express.co.uk, Kev reportedly worked in the Camera and Electrical department on Call the Midwife and had been part of the series crew since 2020. The Call The Midwife season 11 finale is said to have been the last he worked on and it's clear he is dearly missed by the cast and crew of the beloved show.

How to catch up on Call the Midwife seasons 1-11 

It's with a heavy heart that fans must brace themselves for 10 Call The Midwife-free months ahead before the Christmas special 2022. Though that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy all the highs and lows of this hit show, from the latest season to the one that started it all. If you loved the pacing of the Chloe BBC ending or already know what happens in No Return and are looking for something just as emotional, but more historical, then Call the Midwife is hard to beat. 

All of the previous episodes and all past seasons from the very beginning are also available to watch via BBC iPlayer. But if you’re abroad when you fancy watching it then sadly you won't be able to watch the show as you normally would at home, thanks to regional restrictions. 

Call the Midwife starring Megan Cusack

(Image credit: BBC)

Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching this hit drama. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home. Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN as the best. 

They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”


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Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch Call the Midwife online. 

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(Image credit: Future)

Now you know who died in Call the Midwife and which of your favourite characters have survived, there's plenty of time to re-live all the most tear-jerking, life-affirming and downright joyful moments so far. Especially given what creator, writer and executive producer Heidi Thomas has previously teased about the show's future, as revealed by Radio Times.

"Like Nonnatus House itself, we have a proud past but an even more exciting future —full of old favourites, fresh faces, higher hemlines, new ideas. The stories we tell are like babies—they never stop coming, we love them all, and we vow to do our best by every single one," she excitingly declared.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.