Coward, malingerer or dutiful soldier pushed to breaking point? Hamp is 'gormless', he is a pathetic figure to everyone but himself. If Hamp knows anything it is that he is unimportant. Incapable of speculation on his fate, he feels no fear nor self-pity. Hargreaves, a civilian solicitor and serving officer finds himself defending a deserter being court-martialed. He must overcome his defendants total lack of comprehension and blind-faith and deliver Hamp a verdict that will spare him from the firing squad. A company of unhappy protagonists must wrestle with their consciences in the pursuit of justice. The pragmatism and futility of war is indisputable, each in their own way find the whole business tiresome and worrying. Cloaking their true feelings with procedure and cynicism, they must define what it is to defy King and Country.