National service

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Goku, Feb 8, 2006.

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  1. Can anyone tell me how long a soldier had to serve for national service in 1948?

    My farther was a conscript with the Green Jackets and I need to provide the Army with the approximate dates of his service. Unfortunately he passed on many years ago and there are no surviving family members of his generation who remember.

    From past conversations with him I think it was for 3yrs but confirmation from those in the know would be appreciated.
  2. The minimum period of service was a full two years from the date of enlistment, say 1st February 1948 - 31st January 1950. However, some National Servicemen took the option of signing on for a further year. Certainly this was quite common with the Corps Regiments such as REME and the RAF mainly it was to do with technical training qualifications.

    When the Korean War kicked off, many National Servicemen had their service period extended indefinately until the end of the "present emergency" and again it is common to see some putting in up to five years - still on National Service. Here we are talking of Post WWII, where National Servicemen often were conscripted from 1st Sept 1939 until 1946 in some cases.

    If you were to PM me with his service number I should be able to pinpoint his enlistment month if that is any help.


    T_S :wink:
  3. In 1948 you had to spend in the forces 18 months service and around the time of the Korean War it went up to 2 years. The problem was you could spend three to four months on training then then three to four weeks on a troopship each way which only left you a year to serve.

    The requirement for a peacetime force larger than that made possible by purely voluntary recruitment led the post-war Labour Government to move towards establishing a national service system in 1946. The National Service Act was passed in July 1947 after considerable opposition from some Labour and Liberal politicians. The Act was to come into force at the beginning of 1949. The Act initially required a period of one year to be served in the Armed Forces followed by a liability for a possible five years in the Reserve. Financial crises, the advent of the Cold War and the Malaya emergency led to the National Service Amendment Act in December 1948, increasing the period of service to 18 months. This enabled National Servicemen to be used more efficiently and effectively, particularly overseas.

    The demands of the Korean War (1950-1953) led to the length of service being extended to two years, surpassing even the Service Chiefs' original wishes. Liability to further service in the Reserve was reduced with each of these extensions. The period of service remained at two years until the end of National Service.
  4. Just a point to query I know the records office in Glasgow need as much details as possible but I'm trying to surprise the old boy as it's coming up for 50 years (give or take a couple of years) and I want to surprise him with his GSM as he never bothered when he left. All I know is he's ex RASC (cant remember his number but he was in 56-58 ish) 7 coy. I know I need his permission to retrieve his records but I have a letter signed by him to retrieve his fathers records. If I write very nicely would they release his records to me so I can then write to the medals office?
  5. Before writing of for a GSM where did he serve and how long for as he might not be entitled to the GSM. Now the GSM were sent out to all those that were entitled to them, mind you mine took 6 years to catch with me. Now it likely that his number started with the numbers 231......Also they will want to know a fair amount about him before they dig around for his records, like the date he joined and when he left, what units he served with and where and they would also like his full number.
  6. Thanks W.Anchor unfortunately his health hasn't been to good this past year and all I have to go on is his photo album. Which has given me some clues like Operation Black Mac ( which I believe was 57?) and notes saying Egypt 55-56 and a photo marked Ismalia. I know that he did sign up for another year, I may try the museum to gain more knowledge but again theres the lack of info.
  7. I have heard of men serving up to 7 years before de-mob. My dad done 2 in the Royal East Kents ( Buffs ) but then signed up as a regular in the RAMC 2months before de-mob. I think the time served in NS all depends on what was going on at the time. 1948 onwards was a busy period due to the fact we were policing an Empire towards independance & in some cases fighting independance. Thousands of NS men must of had thier conscription extended during this time.

    Regards LT.
  8. Planky....The 1956 invasion was operation Musketeer, there was no involvement in Suez or Egypt in 1957, so that would only leave the very early part of 1955. This now covers the best part of three years, if any thing I would say it it was the early part of 1955 which might mean he was entitled to the Suez Medal 1951. May I ask just how old your grandfather is as we should be able to work out which one he might be able to get.
  9. Thanks W.Anchor, guess my posts are a bit misleading it's actually my dad who was in the RASC and who forgot his number (its his GSM that I hope to obtain for him), my grandad is a lot easier I have his serial number but not his regiment (we just know he was RA and was 8th Army) Operation Black Mac was in Cyprus and was a campaign against EOKA.
    As always any assistance is greatly accepted

    Note to self make posts more understandable
  10. There were thousands of of code names to all the anti terrorist sweeps in Cyprus during that time so Black Mac will mean nothing to any one except those who were on it.
  11. It was 18 Months Liability in 1948. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the liability was increased to 2 years.
    However, your Old Man could have done three years like mine. Namely they opted to join as a "Regular" and did three years. The pay back was that they had a far better chance of a choice of Regiment by going that route.

    Reserve Liabilities varied I think. NS chaps were supposed to spend a period with the TA. Many, if not most though ignored this, much to the Detriment of the Territorials at the time.
    In My Old Man's case he was supposed to do five years in the TA (ignored), was recalled for Musketeer (somehow the Recall Notice ended up in the fire). He was on the Unorganised Reserve [not sure if this was the corrct term] for twenty more years.
  12. IndianaDel.....I was one of those National Service types that refused to do TA service, having done two years on half a regulars pay I thought I had done my bit, but I was was still down for 12 years on Class 1 General Army Reserve.
  13. Goku i my own experience all the information i had to give the army was my dad personal details then they sent all the information to me about everything with in reason
  14. Well done dullard, yet again you point out the obvious :roll:
    If I had enough information to track down his service records then I would have done so.

    What possessed you to think that I would have any interest in anything you had to say?
    Other than as a verbal punching bag, you’re pretty useless.
  15. sorry to point out an error here. Nothing "pretty" about Pentwyn Goku