Maddy lives with her grandmother in a tumbledown farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales. The house has been in the family for generations, but her grandmother is struggling to cope. She is determined that no matter what happens, the two of them will not be forced into the workhouse. Though life is tough, Maddy manages to gain a scholarship to the local school. As war is declared, Maddy and her friends join up, leaving the beautiful Dales for the dangerous work of manning the Ack Ack sites.