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This book is not merely a history of National Service but also a social history of the late 1940s and the 1950s. I was about 18 months too young to 'enjoy' National Service but did subsequently spend just over a quarter of a century in the Regular and Territorial Armies so the descriptions are entirely familiar to me. Things have of course changed dramatically but in many ways have come full circle as having passed through the Cold War scenario we are now right back in what is now a much smaller world beset with tribal/sectarian insurgencies. Will/should National Service return? The answer I feel is a resounding 'no', it was of its time and that time has gone. If however you want to get a feel of that time then you could do far worse than to read/listen to Colin Schindler's excellent book.
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An lot of references of others experiences, which by the nature of this book are highly condensed. I was in the army at that time and not one went without his "Grip Chart" which was ticked of every day with the saying "Days to do getting few" which went to show how much this invariably scruffy bunch viewed their service commitments. Amazing though what some authors will do to create a book.
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