The film begins with scenes of schoolboys reciting patriotic speeches that both praise their countries and condemn their enemies. In Scotland, two young brothers, Jonathan and William, join up to fight, followed by their priest, Father Palmer, who becomes a chaplain. In Germany, Sprink is interrupted during a performance by a German officer announcing a reserve call up. French soldier Audebert looks at a photograph of his pregnant wife, whom he has had to leave behind (in the occupied part of France, just in front of his trench), and prepares to exit into the trenches for an Allied assault on German lines. However the assault fails, with the French and Scottish taking many casualties while William loses his life.