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National Service

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Registered: 30-08-2007

National Service

I wouldn't think there are too many members around this forum old enough to have done their National Service, but there may be a few. There may well be a few young'ns who haven't a clue what I'm talking about.
For myself I was definitely looking forward to it, but it was discontinued a couple of years or so before I was to be called-up much to my disgust. My older brother did his mostly in the then hot-spot of Germany. He had a whale of a time, claiming (when his wife is out of earshot) that it was the best two years of his life. He even had (I'm told) a record played on Two-Way-Family-Favourites (remember that?)
But, my question is...IF you did it, would you happily do it again, or do your best to get out of it?
For the younger one's, assuming you know what it is, would you want to do it?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: National Service

It's not something that would particularly appeal to me.
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nadger
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Re: National Service

Sept 1953 to Sept 1955 - REME ( Rough Engineering Made Easy) Instrument Mechanic - mainly optical.
After basic & trade training spent rest of time at command workshops in Colchester working with civvies. A fellow IM subsequently became quite famous - as did rest of Great Train Robbers.
Girl, who was next door neighbour in South London before WW2, kept a pub, with her husband, next to cattle market so spent a lot of time there.
Overall a waste of two years.
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Re: National Service

I missed it by a couple of years.  If I remember rightly my MP at the time, Edward Heath, was the minister who stopped it. I can't say I had any views on it but it would have been an interesting experience I'm sure.
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Re: National Service

The UK had 600,000 people in the Civil Defence Corps, that capability has long since gone. It would be better if National Service was revived, but served in the Civil Defence rather than the armed forces.
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Re: National Service

Quote from: Petlew
For myself I was definitely looking forward to it,

It was probably much to do from hailing from a "military" family. My father, his brother, my grandfather, were all full time army men as were several male members of their families, but then many were in those days.
Dad never really got over being captured (in Crete) and spending a good portion of WW2 as a P.O.W in Germany. He was treated quite well, life was hard but fair he said -as were the majority of P.O.W's as opposed to the high-profile multi-escapee's you do tend to hear about- Dad was too near an exploding land-mine (evidently a British one) and received first class medical care after an extremely arduous journey to Germany, being fitted with a solid silver bottom jaw, silver reinforcing plates in his skull and a set of dentures that he would never part with afterwards. He maintained afterwards a very high regard for his captors. But such was his military mind-set that he admitted he would have shot (at) every one of them on the battle-field if it was necessary.
After repatriation, his first action was to re-enlist, but was discharged on medical grounds, something he never really got over.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: National Service

Speaking as a relative young 'un I think it would be a great idea and bring lots of benefits to all. I wanted to sign up but for health reasons couldn't.
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Re: National Service

Periodically, a cry goes up that we should shove all our yobs and anti-social miscreants into the armed forces to teach'm how to grow up. The measured response from the armed forces is that we don't want them, we want reasonably educated people who want a career in the forces, why should we have to look after societies miss-fits.
?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: National Service

Received my ‘call-up’ papers, then was accepted for uni, so did the first 9 months national service as part of a ‘Surveyors’ unit, can’t remember much apart from spending hours with log tables and Theodolites somewhere around Wiltshire living in a Nissan hut.
Learnt a lot of basic stuff during those 9 months which I still use today.
Would I do it again today? Yes
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Re: National Service

Quote from: Petlew
Periodically, a cry goes up that we should shove all our yobs and anti-social miscreants into the armed forces to teach'm how to grow up. The measured response from the armed forces is that we don't want them, we want reasonably educated people who want a career in the forces, why should we have to look after societies miss-fits.

Understand that, but hopefully some discipline and self discipline would turn that around and taking everyone would perhaps lead to a better sense of identity as a nation.
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Re: National Service

Quote from: dvorak
I wanted to sign up but for health reasons couldn't.

Likewise. The only thing I wanted do do on leaving school was to join the RAF. I knew I wouldn't get to aircrew because of my use of glasses -it was a definite no-no then, but not now- I would have gone in to sweep runways if necessary. I passed all tests and exams except the sight medical. I was even sent to Harley Street for assessment, but was failed.
In some respects I was unlucky. I tried at a time shortly after the second world war when most of the services were over-loaded with "staff" and could afford to be very picky with new applicants.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: National Service

Quote from: Strat
It's not something that would particularly appeal to me.

However if there was a chance of getting a pilot's licence that would have been a different matter entirely Smiley
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Re: National Service

I was too young for national service and it was scrapped a couple of years before I reached the call up age.
I Came in contact with lots of Men who had been in the services and from what they said it was impossible to make any sort of judgement of whether or not I would have liked it, as some describe it as the best time of their lives to others who said it was a wasted 2 years.
I Suspect the truth lies somewhere in-between. Get a good posting with people similar to yourself and you could even end up keeping in touch once you left the service, equally the opposite could occur (I can think of a number of people who I would not want to spend an hour with, let alone 2 years)
So never having done it I never missed it..............  Well I did miss it (anyway you know what I mean  Smiley 
itsme
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Re: National Service

Quote from: Petlew
Periodically, a cry goes up that we should shove all our yobs and anti-social miscreants into the armed forces to teach'm how to grow up. The measured response from the armed forces is that we don't want them, we want reasonably educated people who want a career in the forces, why should we have to look after societies miss-fits.
?

I would be interested to know what's the average IQ of rank and file troops.
nadger
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Re: National Service

Quote from: itsme
I would be interested to know what's the average IQ of rank and file troops.

For a while we slept in some old fashioned cavalry barracks outside our workshops.
Also using these barracks were senior ncos ( staff sgts etc) taking army education certificates. We mere NS squadies ( from grammar school) used to coach them to pass their exams in maths and English  Smiley