Private Thomas Peaceful has left his family behind in Devon, England. He has lied about his age. He has followed his older brother Charlie to France to fight in the First World War. Now, after living through the terror of gas attacks, watching childhood friends die by his side, battling the lice, the rats, the mud, and the sheer exhaustion of staying alert, young Thomas has been ordered to stand night watch over the battlefields, where the enemy lurks in the darkness. If Thomas falls asleep, he will be shot. As the minutes tick by, Thomas's memories are full of his childhood spent deep in the countryside. But every moment Thomas spends thinking about his life brings him another moment closer to something he cannot bear to thing about — a time when the war and its horrific consequences will change his life forever.