In 1913 the British government, hearing that the Germans are planning World War I, ask top agent Whinfrey to intervene, but instead he decides to go on holiday to Cornish fishing village Torpoint. Here he believes he has stumbled upon a smuggling ring, but in fact they are Germans who are masquerading as locals in an advance invasion party. The British arrive and arrest them, believing that Whinfrey deliberately planned everything - though it is apparent that he did not.
Barnestoneworth United is the worst football team of 1935,who lose every match. Gordon Ottershaw is,however,their loyal fan,determined to prevent them from being disbanded after their final game. To this end he recruits the players from the renowned winning team of 1922 who turn up to defeat rivals Denley Moor.
On the eve of the Great War Roger Bartlesham's aristocratic parents are firm believers in the Empire though Roger, encouraged by socialist Latin teacher Mr Hopper,dreams of equality and opening a tea shop with his sweet-heart Miranda. After a sojourn in India where various officers shoot themselves to atone for breaches in etiquette Roger gets caught up in Hopper's attempt to bring the Russian revolution to England but is rescued from the chaos by Miranda in time for them to pursue their dream.