While the story itself is fiction, the background is reality. The Pals were formed and fought just as they are described as doing in the play. It looks at the story of the innocent and enthusiastic men who volunteered their services to their country after Kitchener's calls for a New Army. Their experiences of life on the Western Front are contrasted with the women who are left behind in Accrington, women who come together as friends when facing sexual deprivation, as well as being thrown into the social changes that came along with the absence of many men. The main characters, too, are contrasted; May, as independent, hard-working, fruit and veg stall holder, Tom, her lodger, as optimistic and idealistic and Eva, May's trusted and generous confidante and sweetheart of Ralph. The play has fun and light-hearted moments, which are starkly contrasted with the terrifying reality hundreds of men faced at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.