At the age of 17 Camden Thompson is conscripted into the Great War. The story starts in 1915 in Winnipeg, and follows him from the moment he gets the letter of conscription to; convincing a girl to sleep with him, training in pristine trenches in Winnipeg, to the train east to Halifax. He crosses the Atlantic, landing in Plymouth, only to train and drill again in Salisbury. He crosses the English Channel from Avonmouth to St. Nazaire, France, is filled into a cattle car to Hazebrouck near Belgium and then sent to the trenches at Flanders. After sitting around in the trench for the next offensive, fighting off rats and trench foot, he gets his first taste of battle. When the offensive starts he's wounded almost immediately, past out from blood loss, shipped to triage, where he meets the prettiest girl he's ever seen, a nurse. She fixes him right up and he's sent back to a horrific war, fighting offensive after offensive, dodging artillery, machine gun fire, air craft fire (he's positioned in a reconnaissance balloon), he fights through the Somme, Mons, Paschendale and even Dieppe, gradually being promoted along the way (as every one else is killed off) until he is brutally wounded two and looses his foot. Out of the war he travels down through Spain before coming home, and when he does, he finds that that he no longer belongs or relates to the life he once had. Bringing Spanish Influenza with him, Camden finds the only thing he can do to stop the death around him, is to dig his own trench in a farmers field and fight anyone who dare comes near him.