Eric Alford's safe and romantic life on the peaceful Gaspe Coast is shattered by his decision to follow his elder brother John (the Pilgrim and The Chaplain) into the 1914-18 cataclysm of death and destruction known as the "Great War for Civilisation". By his thundering Howitzer, Gunner Alford assaults the Hun through every major Canadian battle of WWI: Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Hill 70, The Somme, and "The Hundred Days" that ended the conflict.
A developing romance with a lovely Londoner is cut short by a German shell. Evacuated to a Rouen field hospital, he is surrounded by hellish wounds: blindness, amputations, and gas-inflicted horrors. Finally, back in Blighty among other shell-shock victims, he recovers and returns to his Gaspe home, bereft of his London love and changed forever.