Author Topic: National Service  (Read 918 times)

Johned

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Re: National Service
« Reply #15 on: Sep 13, 2018, 10:22:18 PM »
We are supposedly a "free" and democratic society; why should anyone be compulsorily enlisted for any service civil or military against their will?  Other than the usual media portrayed stereotypes, it strikes me that most young people earn their keep in society like most other people.

Hugh

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Re: National Service
« Reply #16 on: Sep 14, 2018, 04:21:29 PM »
National Service we certainly needed at the time after the first and second world wars. I missed NS by 5 days but got very bored and joined the RN and did 22 years. Saw action a couple of times and the second one the war down south. I saw HMS Ardent a ship I had served sink. Went along side HMS Sheffield in rough conditions  to rescue the crew. It had been hit by a french built missile. So late in my career it was bit of a pension trap. 

Michael Rolls

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Re: National Service
« Reply #17 on: Sep 14, 2018, 07:53:25 PM »
We are supposedly a "free" and democratic society; why should anyone be compulsorily enlisted for any service civil or military against their will?  Other than the usual media portrayed stereotypes, it strikes me that most young people earn their keep in society like most other people.
John
Were you old enough to understand WW2? As Hugh says - we certainly needed conscription then, and given the fear of the USSR in the years after we needed to retain it for quite a while.
Mike
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Traveller

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Re: National Service
« Reply #18 on: Sep 15, 2018, 09:35:10 AM »
My brother and I were  too young for NS.  Nearest thing we came to military service was both being in the Royal Observer Corps in the 1960's.
Worked hard all my life with no help from my friends,
Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

Michael Rolls

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Re: National Service
« Reply #19 on: Sep 15, 2018, 11:11:17 AM »
Guess it's a sign of my own age that I get surprised to learn that there are pensioners who were too young to do NS - and for that matter that there are mature adults who weren't even born when Kennedy was assassinated, and.....................
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

sarahbilly 1

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Re: National Service
« Reply #20 on: Sep 15, 2018, 11:36:00 AM »
johned. my sentiments also.

Michael Rolls

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Re: National Service
« Reply #21 on: Sep 15, 2018, 12:32:13 PM »
johned. my sentiments also.
I wonder if those would have been your sentiments in 1940?
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

Traveller

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Re: National Service
« Reply #22 on: Sep 15, 2018, 12:55:11 PM »
I gather NS stopped in 1960, so I would only have been 10.  One of the 'Baby Boomer' generation.
Worked hard all my life with no help from my friends,
Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

Hugh

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Re: National Service
« Reply #23 on: Sep 15, 2018, 12:58:52 PM »
All those born in the last quarter of 1939 missed National Service.

Michael Rolls

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Re: National Service
« Reply #24 on: Sep 15, 2018, 03:51:47 PM »
All those born in the last quarter of 1939 missed National Service.
Can't really get my head round what has gone before. A friend of mine was called up in the very last draft by a matter of days before he had been born prematurely by a couple of weeks or so (don't think he ever forgave his parents!).
How relevant are those comments? Had we not had many, many young men conscripted to save us from Hitler and his view of the world, how good is their German and how long could they hold their breath when the poison gas started billowing forth?
To be honest - I don't think they have a clue!!!
Mike
The older I get, the better I was!

sarahbilly 1

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Re: National Service
« Reply #25 on: Sep 15, 2018, 03:59:12 PM »
mike, not at all, just like my dad,  I  would like to believe I would have enlisted, without the need for conscription and been content to serve in those circumstances.

Michael Rolls

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Re: National Service
« Reply #26 on: Sep 15, 2018, 04:08:20 PM »
Sadly - or sensibly, according to how you view it, that wasn't the case, Conscription was needed to save us from Hitler. When I was old enough I volunteered, but sadly my eyesight disqualified me from RAF aircrew, something that saddens me to this day, but I can well understand folk thinking that the chance of getting their heads blown off was something that they would prefer to see being run by somebody else.
Mike


The older I get, the better I was!

Johned

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Re: National Service
« Reply #27 on: Sep 15, 2018, 04:18:35 PM »
I think I understood WW2 Michael as much as most folk; I recall my dad reporting as a reservist the Friday night before war was declared on the Sunday.  He and two of his brothers were in the army and one brother in the RN.  Dad and the latter in the RN were both at Dunkirk and it would be a nice coincidence to say he pulled my dad out of the water into his boat but it didn't happen!  I am a devout amateur historian and still constantly study the causes and effects of the war.  I still wonder why we declared war on Germany for invading Poland when there was absolutely nothing we could do to assist that poor country.  We should have watched, waited and speeded up our rearmament which was started as long ago as 1935 by the Baldwin government.  As for the situation postwar, as much as we may deny it, Russia won the war in Europe with sideshow assistance by the Western allies. We were on the winning side but the result was very much a Phyrric victory for us; how we managed to pay for and sustain 55,000 troops in Germany down the ensuing years along with a nuclear deterrent eludes me.  In hindsight, we should have not subscribed so much to American hysteria about the so called Russian threat but perhaps endeavoured more to accommodate them.  In my unworthy way, I am old enough to have done my NS and then spent twenty years in the reserves and TA training with Rhine army and no, I admit I never heard a shot fired in anger!




 

Johned

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Re: National Service
« Reply #28 on: Sep 15, 2018, 04:31:20 PM »
As an addendum to my last post; on reflection, in my full time service I never left these sunny shores but I was bayonetted and thus may cast myself in the light of the "wounded!"   It was June 1953 and a blissfully hot day and our platoon were engaged in pointless thrust and parry exercises; two men each with rifle and fixed bayonet having a go at each other.  Despite our Sergeants screaming and yelling, we were all a bit slow on the uptake and sure enough, I failed to dodge out of the way as my partner, a lad name Preston as I recall, lunged at me.  Happily the blade did not enter my superstructure but shaved the skin off my arm all the way down and it bled profusely.  The other lad threw down his rifle, put his arm around me and said "Sorry old mate, r u OK?"  Good old Sergeant Stock (in reality a lovely man) yelled "When you get to Korea and a Chink puts his bayonet in you, do you think he is going to say he is sorry?"  "That's what I like to see, lads taking a genuine interest and blood, lots of lovely blood!"  And thus it went on, the madness day by day!  And no, we did not go to Korea, happily the UN and the other side signed an Armistice which thankfully holds uneasily to this day! 

Hugh

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Re: National Service
« Reply #29 on: Sep 15, 2018, 05:00:39 PM »



These were made by none explosive anti aircraft bullets lucky for me. Two of many bullet holes were within a few feet from where I stood. We were down there before the fleet left UK.