Bevan Boys

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by geezer466, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. Interesting item on now on the One Show BBC1.

    It is by a pure quirk of where their names appeared on the electoral Register as to whether they were conscripted into the forces or sent down the mines.

    Clearly although they were not in the front line they were part of the overall war effort. These boys were not rewarded with medals and some of them did lose their lives.

    Perhaps the saddest part of the story now as many are in old age they could do with charitable assistance but the Royal British Legion's rules mean they do not qualify..........
  2. I had no idea that this was the case. Is this right? Whilst not in the line of fire this was a dangerous and demanding job. Surely some meaningful recognition from the RBL (i.e. support) could be forthcoming?
  3. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I believe this has been brought up at RBL conference but thrown out. They have only been allowed at the Cenotaph since 1998.
  4. I am 99% certain these incredibly courageous men were:

  5. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Of course :D

    Famous ones include:
    Brian Rix
    Jimmy Saville
  6. Shame on the RBL if this is the case - particularly when they seem to indulge scum like the Legion of Frontiersmen in their midst. Do they not realise that RBL numbers will inevitably dwindle and that they should seek to be more inclusive? The Bevin Boys performed a valuable service for this country and deserve recognition. I was delighted to see them at the Cenotaph and feel that tangible support from organisations such as the RBL is owed.

    How many members will the RBL have in 50 years time to rattle poppy tins if it is such an exclusive club?

    Edited to unmix my Ernests from my Aneurins. :oops:
  7. Did they have any choice between the armed services and the mines or did they just receive papers ? I don't know.
  8. Since when did the Legion of Frontiersmen qualify for RBL membership? Whether or not the Bevin Boys are allowed membership of the RBL it's not going to have any impact on future membership as they were in fact "demobbed" in 1948. The RBL has enough on it's plate supporting ex servicemen and the duty of care for Bevin Boys lies with the government. Having worked down the mines myself prior to enlisting I am well aware of the conditions these blokes worked under but perhaps the trades Unions should do more for them . The problem with putting the onus on the RBL is that then we need to include the Womens Land Army ,who were also conscripted, ot the millions of women who were "directed" into induastry, my own mother was directed into work at the local ROF factory where she contracted dermatitis in her hands and never received any compensation So, while I understand the sentiments I fail to see how it is thye RBLs responsibility and if it were where would the necessary funds be diverted from, the pot is not bottomless and with today's military commitments the RBL will be stretched to breaking to meet it's present commitments.
  9. Just papers butty - just papers. Can you imagine?

    PS. I'm not trying to be a 'smart-arse' but I worked down the pit (Rose Heyworth Colliery in Abertillery) and, as luck would have it, I 'escaped' to serve for 35 years 5 months in the Army.

    Nothing, and I mean nothing, in the Army is/was as frightening as working underground. I am, despite my family background, so glad that the dreadful, but honourable, manner of earning a living underground has gone and I pray gone for ever.
  10. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    It was a lottery. How the lottery worked I don't know.

    Although Brian Rix wrote:
  11. They had no choice,they were told "You're going to be a Miner",end of story!
  12. Geezer, are you able technically to change the title of your serious and important thread to: 'Bevin Boys'?

    Being Welsh and a former miner, I find the spelling 'Bevan' distressing.
  13. My grandad volunteered for the Army in 1915 to get out of the pit -- Pont y Gwaith in the Rhonnda -- that's how good it was down the mines...
  14. Good job they are allowed to the Cenotaph now.

    As has been mentioned on the "medals, how many have you got" type threads.

    Many have no choice over where they serve, that they serve with pride and graft is not debated however many medals they wear. Given the options I would definitly have opted for the front rather than the face.

    Underground?? Long hours, bad conditions and just as much risk of being hurt or killed.

    Makes me remember the Home Guard Auxilleries, aka MI R. They were men of the country, who were recruited in to a ready made resistance movement for the country. Some were poachers and game keepers and farmers.

    Their role, was to allow the Germans to advance past them, before reporting to their hides. Break out the weapons and start smashing up the boshe from behind. Not to mention such orders as to shoot the local Post Master, Police chiefs and mayors etc. (not known to the pot targets perhaps!!!!) to avoid their aiding of the Germans.

    The big kick in the t1ts for these guys was that they were fit men, with no real reason to not be in the forces. Many were vilified by their peers who saw them as war dodgers. They still did their duty though, unsung and unknown for some 50 years.