In 1951 at the Star Of The Sea Orphanage in Liverpool, Lily makes friends with Bert and Wilson. We follow the children as they are uprooted from their beloved Liverpool dockside to a life of deprivation and extreme hardship in the alien environment of Australia. In episode 1, the boys are sent to St. Bedes, a religious rural establishment where the weather is harsh and the discipline savage. The boys are cruelly worked cutting and carting rocks. No effort is made to teach them to read or write and they are made to face a number of challenges.