The Great War brought, for the first time in modern history, almost full employment to Britain, partly because millions of rnen were ernployed, and rnany of thern destroyed, in the armed services. War at last pravided the long-sought device for syphoning off surplus labour. At first rnen were recruited into the services as volunteers - though under powerful pressure to enlist, not least frorn the insecurities ofthe pre-war labour market-then frorn 1916 as conscripts. The grawth in industrial sectors essential for war production further increased job supply for both rnen and wornen. Wornen were ernployed in large nurnbers in the highly dangerous pracess of making explosives and in the face of rnuch male opposition, and to a lesser extent than is often believed in manual occupations previously exclusively male, such as engineering, as they were vacated by rnen entering the services. Not only working-class but also middle-class wornen entered newly opened occupations, rnany working women transferring frorn lower paid, traditionally female occupations such as domestic service. Young, middle-class women (relatively few rnarried middle-class wornen except in voluntary service) entered the workforce in large numbers, rnainly in white collar secretarial, teaching and clerical jobs, escaping for the first time frarn their chaperones and frorn boredom to freer lives away frarn horne. Such professions as medicine and accountancy became more accessible to wornen, and these wornen benefIted decisively frarn the war, though they were still a long way frarn occupational equality with rnen. Wartirne changes in the occupational structure enabled sorne such wornen to retain their jobs and independence after the war, when working-class wornen were thrust back into the horne as rnothers or as servants, or into other traditional occupations.