Armistice day 1918 and a young Vivian Kenway is befriended by soldiers returning from France. They tell him it's the fighters like themselves that make the difference in life and give him a 'lucky' pin to remember them by. And remember them he does. Not for young Vivian is it to be a life of struggle. Once he has been sent down from Oxford for a schoolboy prank his existence turns into a life of upper class decadence. Sent to work in South America, he soon rebels against routine of life on the coffee plantation. He tries his hand at being a racing driver before his life becomes one of philandering and drunkenness, which eventually leads to the death of his father. The outbreak of World War 2 offers Vivian the chance of ultimate salvation and the opportunity to finally earn the respect and admiration of his peers.