1917 Aerial surveillance revealed that the German army has been withdrawn from a portion of the Western Front in northern France. But, they have taken a calculated retreat towards the Hindenburg Line. They are waiting to inflict a massive blow on the British with artillery. General Erinmore gives orders to two of the young British lance corporals William Schofield and Tom Blake to deliver messages to Colonel Mackenzie, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. This will start an assault on the British the next day, which could endanger the lives of 1600 soldiers including Blake’s brother Joseph.
Schofield and Blake Schofield and Blake crossed the abyss of no-man’s land to get to the abandoned German trenches. Schofield was injured while on his way. They find a tripwire the Germans have installed. The blast nearly kills Schofield however Blake is able to save him and the two escape. They find a demolished farmhouse in which they find a German aircraft has been destroyed during an airborne dogfight. The pilot is saved by Blake and Schofield. Blake is able to convince Schofield to provide water to the pilot. The pilot then stabbing Blake as Schofield’s back is turned. Schofield killed the pilot and then comforts Blake and promises to complete the mission, and also writing to Blake’s mother. A passing British team picks up Blake’s rings, dog tags and Erinmore’s note.
Schofield accepts to release of the British trucks that aren’t able to cross the damaged canal bridge at Ecoust-Saint-Mein. Then, a sniper shoots at him while Schofield uses the bridge on his own to traverse. Schofield and the sniper engage in a shoot-out and Schofield shoots back. The sniper dies while Schofield is struck in the helmet and knocked unconscious. He awakes at dark and wanders through the flame illuminated ruin of the town. He escapes from an armed German soldier and meets an French woman and her baby. He was able to heal his injuries and she offered him his cans of food and milk that he had from the farm he grew on. Schofield in spite of her pleas, leaves when she hears the chimes of the nearby clock, and recognizing that the clock is ticking away. He escapes from German soldiers by jumping into the river when being confronted by them. As the cherry blossoms are in bloom and he’s being carried away by the water. When he reaches the riverbank, the man is swept over the water. He discovers D Company 2nd Devons in the forest. This is the final wave of battle. Schofield is trying to contact Colonel Mackenzie while the unit is moving toward the front.
Schofield discovers that the trenches are too full for him to get to Mackenzie within the time he requires. He raced across the open field parallel to the British trench lines just when the infantry begins their assault. He makes his way to Mackenzie to relay the message. Schofield is looking for Blake’s brother, and finds Blake’s brother. He is not injured, however he was part of the initial wave. Schofield communicates with Joseph of his mission, and also Tom’s demise. Schofield also gives Tom’s rings, as well as the dog’s tag. Schofield is extremely concerned about the brother of Joseph, however Schofield is grateful to him for his work. Schofield asks permission to write to Joseph about the heroics of Tom. Joseph accepts. Schofield exhausted, he is seated under the shade of a tree nearby to look at pictures of his wife and children.