There was a broad national consensus that Britain was fighting a righteous war, and that volunteering was, put simply, the right moral choice. We should not underestimate the climate produced by years of pre-war public discourse, which had anticipated a war against Germany in which young men would be needed to reinforce Britain’s small professional army. Since the Boer War there had been calls for conscription. These had been supported by invasion scares, and by novels such as Erskine Childers’ Riddle of the Sands . Reprints of this book were prefaced by the author’s call for every British man to do national service, “with the rifle”, or at sea. Officer Training Corps had prepared middle and upper class schoolboys for leadership, and given them some rudimentary training.