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The story of a wowser clergyman, who enlists for military service, but loses his nerve becomes a liability to his company. Following the death of a young soldier, the clergyman overcomes his fear but is later killed whilst tending to the wounded.
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Batson discovers that Clara Rixon has married his rival, the handsome and vivacious Henry Capes. Heartbroken, Batson enlists and goes off to war. Some months later, on the battlefield, Batson and Capes meet, just as their company is about to be ordered 'over the top'. When the time comes, Capes is seized with fear and is unable to leave the trench. Later, Batson takes the wrap for Capes, so that he can save former love interest Clara from having to endure the disgrace of her husband's cowardice. Batson is then sent to Rouen military prison and his record is forever tainted. Upon his return to Australia, Batson learns that Clara has died. Some time afterwards, whilst reading a newspaper in a park, Batson discovers that Capes, now feted as a war hero, has remarried.