The scene opens as across the city the air-raid warning sounds and Ted and June take their two young sons, Peter and Richard, into the Anderson shelter. The parents make the children as comfortable as possible in the damp, dimly lit, interior of this place. Just one of the many routine hardships of life in wartime. As the bombs are heard exploding in the distance, June sees signs that her husband is disturbed by this. She knows that he still suffers from the shell shock that was the cause of his recent discharge from the Royal Navy; a subject Ted won't talk about. Contemplation is banished by the terrifying noise of an aircraft overhead, and then the shattering sound of an explosion close by. This time the bombs have hit the adjacent terrace of houses, not the usual industrial target. In the aftermath of the massive explosion Ted leaves the shelter to investigate the damage, and this leads to an encounter that will change all their lives.