Though the war did not, perhaps, usher in a deluge of social change there were some advances, especially psychological change in the consciousness of many ordinary women who assumed positions of responsibility in wartime charities. One of the dangers of playing down the impacts of the war on social change and considering it an aberration of history is the acceptance of the disillusion and alienation myths. In the 1930s these myths supported the idea that ‘it must never happen again’ and the appeasement of Nazism. However, as the Independent more recently claimed, in the eyes of the British public ‘Joan Littlewood has the best tunes still. The [First World] war is remembered as a conﬂict based on class, an episode in which ordinary people were sent to their death in hecatombs because this was not, in the way the Second World War was, a democratic and popular conﬂict.’3 Yet there are more similarities between the First and the Second World Wars than is generally acknowledged. It is accepted that World War Two was fought as a defensive war to prevent a takeover of Europe by a militarist dictatorship but very much the same could be said about the First. As Michael Howard suggests ‘the First World War was just as much an ideological and moral conﬂict as was the Second, and with just as much reason.’4 Perhaps this similarity makes it easier to understand the motivations of the volunteers (in the widest sense) of the First World War but, ultimately, many of these remain extremely difﬁcult for a person living in the early twenty-ﬁrst century to grasp.