Ex-Sergeant Jack Ford returns home to Gallowshields on Tyneside after the end of World War One. It is a time of economic depression and Jack finds his home town gripped by decline and unemployment. Jack soon falls in with the Seaton family and is determined to make his mark on the world. Sir Horatio Manners offers Jack a job which he can't afford to turn down. Meanwhile Bella is concerned about where Tom is getting his money from. New Year's Eve celebrations are taking place at Jessie's where the Seatons are all gathering, although not all come voluntarily. Jack seems more concerned about Tom's trouble with the bookmakers than he does about his own home. Tom and Jack both get caught stealing although under very different circumstances. Both go to jail, however Jack comes out a hero.