Thursday, February 04, 2016

56 YEARS AND COUNTING...

4th February is always a date I remember vividly....and especially so as this year the 4th falls on Thursday.   For it was 56 years ago this very day that, as a callow innocent, I made the long journey to Catterick in North Yorkshire to begin my 731 days of National Service for Queen and Country.  It was all enforced, of course; no excuses, no arguments, you just got on with it - I wonder how such conscription would be greeted by the young men of today, especially as callow innocence seems to be in short supply these days.

These pictures (for a change not my own) remind me what it was like - the endless training, the bullying, the compliance with good order and military discipline, the Queens Regulations and the exposure to that great contradiction in terms known as military intelligence.   I can still remember my Army Number - like a phone number it`s ingrained in my memory;  and I still wince as I recall being shouted at as to what my "orrible spewy name"` might be.   You see, even after all these 56 years, the memories are still raw, tinged only with a lifelong aversion to any form of compulsion, yet comforted by the lasting friendship of others who endured the same experience.

I hope you might forgive this little self-indulgence  on today of all days. Normal service will be resumed shortly........





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