The title “National Service” is no doubt is completely unknown to many (perhaps most) of the younger generation, since the last National Serviceman was demobilised in May 1963, nearly 60 years ago. These Gallery pages are here to illustrate and prepare a legacy of the length and breadth of the military world that our two year period of service took us.

In a memo to the Secretary of State for War from Alexander Douglas Campbell, Vice Adjutant General, March 1952 stated, “In circumstances such as those existing today, National Service is essential to enable the Active Army to meet the commitments of the Cold War. These commitments are of an order which could never be met by the limited numbers who are likely to volunteer under any inducements which might be offered. It is also necessary to produce a reserve Army to permit rapid mobilisation”. Clearly, this Government memo indicates the immense importance of National Service in those dark days of the Soviet threat to both Great Britain and mainland Europe.

The pages that follow this have been placed into sections that reflect the huge variety of operational activities and geographical locations that were undertaken by these young men, plucked mainly from the relative security of their home towns and workplaces and in many instances put into dangerous and threatening situations that were completely outside their control. But most prevailed, most survived, most enjoyed their time in the armed forces. Regrettably many did not…and to these and all the departed we convey our grateful thanks and appreciation.     


Below are three Gallery pages starting when we were all very young right up to the present day

Who we used to be Where we served Who we are now
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