Sales of the book have hit a record week and month last week. Thanks for all who have bought. The book details are here:
Get In Get Out and Get Away. This may sound strange but not for your uncles, brothers, fathers or grandads. They knew from an early age that one day they would be called up to do their two years National Service.
I am sure the countless millions of ex-National Servicemen will have many things in common in these memoirs, hopefully they are happy ones. I was born in a small terraced house on Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, England in 1938. In that era, the toilet was outside and the bath which was made of tin was kept in the backyard and brought into the house when needed.
Whilst growing up, the cloud above one’s head of having to do National Service got closer and closer. I knew older lads who were getting called up on a regular basis. I was twenty one years old and had just finished my apprenticeship in 1960 when it was my turn. This was the last year of National Servicemen being called up for the services.
I served my two years National Service in the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment reporting to Fulwood Barracks, Preston. For ten weeks, the drill instructors shaped the platoon from a rag tag outfit to smart soldiers. From Fulwood the platoon was sent to Barnard Castle, County Durham and later to the British Cameroons, West Africa for ten months. The regiment was chosen to keep the peace and oversee a vote on the Cameroons future. There was a terrorist organisation on the French border that was intent on disrupting the process and the memoirs include numerous encounters and an eventful raid on a terrorist camp.
This true story is mixed with amusing anecdotes of growing up in post War Britain through the swinging sixties. I was given an eye opener in life then and I am sure when you read my detailed account, you will agree, and also see the parallels to the modern day operations undertaken by the American, British and United Nations military.
It is all history now but it has been a privilege on behalf of my fellow countrymen to put it all down on paper. We all had one thing in common, that was to Get In Get Out and Get Away.
Click this link to view or buy Get in Get Out and Get Away on Amazon or buy the US Version click here
Details on www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk or it can be purchased on Amazon
Do you think national service should be brought back? Bring back National Service. Should we bring back National Service.
This question is asked quite frequently these last few years and no doubt there are arguments for and against this question. It has also been the subject of many debates following the riots in the UK in August 2011. Many millions of British of the older generation of men have done national service and served their country with distinction. They served throughout World War 2, Korea, Malaya, Palestine, Kenya, Cyprus, Germany, and Africa etc. For instance over 300 British servicemen lost their lives in Cyprus in the fifties and early sixties most of these were national servicemen. The national servicemen of yesteryear were certainly a different breed of men, than the present day men. The men who had to do national service all those years ago were originally called up at the outbreak of World War 2 when Great Britain was in grave danger. National service continued for another fifteen years after the end of World War 2, when each man called up had to do firstly eighteen months service. The length of service was raised to two years due to the Korean War. You may ask what you mean by a different breed of man, they are all the same. Well I assure you they are not. The lads of yesteryear mostly came from poor homes where their father went to work for poor wages and their mother cooked, cleaned the house and looked after the children. Over 80% of the people didn’t have a bathroom just a tin bath brought in usually on Friday night. The brick toilet was outside in the backyard the paper used was the day before newspaper. The bedroom for the children was shared with two in a bed for brothers and sisters depending on the size of the family. The only wardrobe was in your parent’s room, the children’s wardrobe was a hook screwed to the back of the bedroom door. The heating in the house was just one-coal fire, which was usually lit before the children got up. Family life was quite loving, with no television to distract conversation, but most houses had a radio. One was made to respect elders, neighbours etc, it was always Mr and Mrs when talking to neighbours; it was no Jim, Tom and Maggie. When your time came to be called up for National Service whether you were eighteen or twenty one, you knew it had to be done. No one was looking forward to doing two years in the forces while just entering the prime of ones life. All the frightening tales told to by the abundance of ex-servicemen didn’t help. The day came when you reluctantly left your tight knitted community and left to join your allotted service, be it Army, Navy or Air Force. Although it was a shock to the system there was plenty of food and for the first time in their lives there were showers. Young men at that time had so much in common, coming from similar backgrounds, camaraderie and lifelong friendships soon formed. The discipline and overall smartness instilled into each national serviceman during those two years made boys into men. No doubt they became better men indeed who kept the Great in Great Britain.
The lads of today have the better of two worlds, money in the back pockets, cars and a certainly more permissive society. Their homes have all the mod cons. The downside of their family life has been dampened by television. I am sorry to say now; there are a small minority who have not much respect for elders, neighbours and the law, which of course should certainly be addressed. Parents and school teachers should play their part in this and stop passing the problem onto others. Discipline when one is young plays a big part in future life The overwhelming majority of young people are intelligent, dress well and courteous and should not be tarred by a few yobs. The politicians, media and sections of the public who have never been in the forces themselves keep bringing this national service question up. Do it to them not to us attitude. These same young men who keep getting picked on, will I am sure be the first in line to join up if the country was threatened, like it was many years ago. No one wants to see lads who were forced to do national service being brought home after losing their life in conflicts. It is sorrowful enough seeing our brave service men and women being brought home from Afghanistan. National Service should not be introduced, because of our country being involved in conflicts in far off places or any other feeble excuse. Do you honestly think the armed forces want to start training lads who are not making the services their career? I am sure they will agree that it would be a complete waste of time for everyone concerned. Politicians should sort our own country out, making it a peaceful and happy place to live, with no such thing as dole queues, poverty and racism. As I said earlier, my generation were a different breed.
To contact me visit my website www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk or my book is available on Amazon – Get in Get Out and Get Away https://www.amazon.co.uk/Get-Out-Away-National-Serviceman/dp/B0050I6A2E or in the USA at http://www.amazon.com/Get-Out-Away-Serviceman-ebook/dp/B0050I6A2E
I started this blog after releasing Get In Get Out and Get Away – Memoirs of a National Serviceman for the Amazon Kindle. If you want to check out the details of it you can go to my website http://www.getingetoutandgetaway.co.uk/ or buy the book here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Get-Out-Away-National-Serviceman/dp/B0050I6A2E