1914. British forces are desperately attempting to hold off the oncoming German invasion in France. But the German defences are formidable - the British must contend with machine guns, razor-sharp shrapnel, and constant shelling. Their only respite from attack comes as star shells fly high into the night, freezing the action and illuminating the chaos in the trenches below. Like so many other men, Jim Hickman and Bertie Murphy are plunged into this nightmare. Loyal friends, the pair have done everything together since they became neighbours as children, from falling in love with the same girl to enlisting as soon as the war began. Now, they must become closer than ever to ensure they both survive the countless, gruelling battles at the front line. As the war progresses, Jim receives honour after honour, whilst loveable Bertie struggles to deal with the mindless slaughter around him. And meanwhile, back in Birmingham, their beloved girl Polly must find a way to choose between the two men. All three are caught up in battles of the body and heart as the war to end all wars changes each of their lives.