War in the Arctic begins with the Winter War (1939-40) in Finland where Doctor Farnes worked voluntarily at a war hospital. Later he joined the medical service of the Norwegian army and served in Iceland and Scotland. He describes the terror of war in Svalbard (Spitsbergen) as he experienced it. Farnes is the only person to have written about this unique experience of fighting against the Soviets in the Arctic.
From Svalbard he came back to Great Britain, and in 1944 was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps. He took part in the invasion of Walcheren and later served at a British base hospital in Brussels.