Not Again

22 May

I have wrote my opinion about this subject before and due to statements that have recently appeared in the press and on television, I have put it back on the Blog
So now we have Prince Harry saying National Service should be brought back. What planet does him and others come from. Like all other royals he had to go in the forces and to be fair he didn’t duck his postings. He said being in the army kept him out of trouble, what a short memory he has. Does he not realise the regular forces in this country are being reduced and the lads who volunteered to join the forces being put in the dole queues. Obviously, I don’t think he understands the issue and problems of bringing back National service

The question about bringing National Service back is bantered around 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 in colleges and Universities over the last few years
Many millions of British men of the older generation 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 for that there is no doubt.
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 by Hitler’s Germany.
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.
I was one of the millions brought up in a much loved family life with no television to distract conversation. One was made to respect elders, neighbours etc. it was always Mr and Mrs when speaking 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 and all able bodied knew that
No one was looking forward to doing two years in the forces while just entering the prime of one’s life. All the frightening tales told to by the abundance of ex-servicemen didn’t help, because they did it and you were no exception.
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 lives in conflicts. It is sorrowful enough seeing our brave service men and women being brought home from the likes of Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts.
In my own opinion 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.
When, one makes statements to the press about national service, whether it is Royalty, Politicians Actors or any other Tom, Dick or Harry. Please try and engage the brain first.

3 Responses to “Not Again”

  1. John William Giles. May 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    Would Prince Harry like to live on the equivelent of 28shillings a day?I was 104 group. 20 2 47 and I had to serve 2 years, not 18 months.I served on active service in Greece and although I was callup under 1939 laws I was exempt from any medals. On return to civvy street my job had moved on 2 years and my steady girlfriend had married someone else Who could expect a young girl to wait 2 years with boyfriend abroad.. My age group gave up much more than 2years of our life.. John Giles (Sgt) RASC S/19136378


  2. John William Giles. May 23, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    I should have written 28 shillings a week. My 86 year old brain lets me down


    • john edwards January 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

      national service made a man off me I was brought up in the slums of north west London got my call up papers when I was just turned 18 in 1957 promptly sacked from my job because I was due to be called up called up and done my training for the princely sum of 10 shillings one week and a pound the next went on embarkation leave hoping to get posted to Germany but no got home on Thursday morning telegram waiting report back to Blanford went on parade and was told to make out my will as I was being posted to Cyprus next day I was in a war zone went to my working unit in Famagusta given a sten gun and a 10 ton hgv truck went for driver training from there we supplied every unit on the Island with supplies and ammo had to do a guard every two days made lots of friends one had to as you protected each other never had one day off .


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