This is not a story about heroes, it is not a story about glory or "lions led by donkeys" and most of all it is not a story about a great victory. It is, however, a story about a nation of "ordinary" people carrying out their perceived duty to an extraordinary degree, the reader will find little satire here. What will be found will be death, suffering and privations endured with such fortitude that defy belief in our 21st century world. Conversely, they will also find the uplifting story of a young survivor of the conflict who overcomes adversity on the home front to overcome corruption and prejudice. William, savagely bullied at school and at home as a child, becomes part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to France in 1914. This "contemptible little army", as the BEF was so infamously labelled by the Kaiser, was virtually destroyed by the end of November that same year. William survived and became central to the moving and sometimes tragic events that followed his family's involvement in the war both at home and on the Western Front. The fictional events of a contemporary visit to the war graves in Flanders and the Somme woven into the narrative, highlight the almost impossible task of judging events so many years ago from our own 21st century perspective, however, the story of the extraordinary work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is considered within the context of this pilgrimage and in an appendix to the main story.