Serving our country

The period of British National Service was a penance for some young men, but for others it meant the chance for friendships that would last a lifetime…

Outset Publishing

When the Second World War ended it didn’t mean the end to all hostilities. Britain still had a commitment to provide military support in Germany, Palestine and India. Opponents struggled with the idea that young men, just returning from six long years of a terrible war, should be called on to serve once more. And so when Clement Atlee’s Labour government presented the National Service Act to Parliament in 1947 it took some persuading to get it through.

However, despite the political disagreements, the Act came into force in January 1949, requiring all physically fit males between the ages of 17 and 21 to join and serve in one of the armed forces for an eighteen-month period.  National Service did not extend to women.

National Service government poster

Once the eighteen months were complete the men would remain on the reserve list for another four years, during which time they might…

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Published by Isabella Muir

Isabella is passionate about exploring family life from the 1930s through to the 1960s and beyond. She has published six Sussex Crime mystery novels set during the 1960s and 1970s, a standalone novel dealing with the child migrant policy of the 1950s and 60s, several novellas set during the Second World War, and two short story collections. All available in paperback from your local bookshops, or online as ebooks. Her novels are also available as audiobooks, and have been translated into Italian.

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