We meet some of the people whose lives we will follow through the terrible four years of war that are about to change Australian society. As the first sounds of menace are heard, with the shots in far-off Sarajevo that assassinate the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the Coles Brothers are opening their first store in Collingwood. In rural Victoria the sons and daughters of the McGinness family support their widowed mother in a life of pastoral comfort on their dairy farm. In London Australia's only true superstar, the opera singer Nellie Melba, performs before the crowned heads of Europe. In less than six weeks the tensions and rivalries of the European powers have dragged that continent to war. And because those powers have global empires, the world is at war. Australia is at war.