'Bring back National Service.' How often does one hear that heartfelt plea as a cure for the apparently permanent epidemic of yobs, hoodies, louts, hooligans, delinquents, and general undesirables, yet one wonders whether the pleader really has any idea of what he or she is asking for. National Service came to an end fifty years ago - the last National Serviceman was demobbed in May 1963 - so you have to be nearly seventy to know what you are talking about - which cuts out the majority of the population. So what was National Service? How did it start? How long did it last? What did you actually have to do? Who had to do it? Was it really as awful as all that? Or was it in fact worse? Why did it come to an end? What good did it do - if any? This profusely-illustrated book takes you behind the scenes of the 'system' which created National Service, and analyses the effects it had on two and a half million young men who were given no choice about giving up two years of their lives to the Armed Forces. This fascinating and richly nostalgic book will provide insights into National Service for those too young to have experienced it and will bring a host of memories for those who went through the apparently endless round of square-bashing and spitting-and- polishing, sometimes with endurance and surprisingly often with enjoyment.
Used availability for Berwick Coates's National Service Fifty Years On
March 2014 : UK Hardback