Memories of National Service by Vic Wickenden
I refer to the article in the recent Action Forum edition by the Secretary of the local National Service Association and I would like to convey my experiences.
I was ‘called up’ to commence my national service on the 1st March 1951 (age 18 years & 2 months). I did my initial training - 6 weeks - at the army barracks at Aldershot, then transferred to R.A.S.C. Barracks at Yeovil, Somerset to complete the full training. One good thing come out of this experience was I obtained a driving licence. The army engaged local driving instructors to assist. On completing the 13 week course, I was posted to the R.A.S.C. Barracks near Swindon, Wiltshire.
As I held a junior clerk position in civil street, I was given a position in the Company’s ofﬁce, where I remained until discharged on 28th February 1953. In March 1952 the entire company were posted to Germany - Where we were based near Munster. I would add that I thoroughly enjoyed the remaining years of my service times, obtaining the rank of Corporal. However, despite pressure from my senior officers, 1 had no wish to continue as a regular soldier.
To summarise I believe National Service was a good scheme to assist in training young men to become good citizens.