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Six Campaigns: National Servicemen on Active Service, 1948-60
Between 1948 and 1960 British armed forces were involved in six campaigns overseas - in Malaya, Korea, Kenya, Cyprus, Suez and South Arabia. To provide the manpower for these operations, fixed-term universal male conscription was instituted in peacetime for the only time in the country's history. Of the million and a half men called up on reaching the age...
Between 1948 and 1960 British armed forces were involved in six campaigns overseas - in Malaya, Korea, Kenya, Cyprus, Suez and South Arabia. To provide the manpower for these operations, fixed-term universal male conscription was instituted in peacetime for the only time in the country's history. Of the million and a half men called up on reaching the age of 18, about 125,000 - or one in twelve - served in an active theatre of operations. Approximately 400 conscripts were killed in action, whilst many more were lost in accidents. In this book 23 National Servicemen, each of whom served in at least one of the six campaigns, reminisce about their time in far-off places, facing largely invisible enemies, in pursuit of aims which remain obscure to this day. They recall the brutality, the hardship, the excitement and the humour of an experience which for all of them appears to have been an important, if sometimes painful, part of the process of growing up. They also record, in many cases, the indifference - both personal and official - with which they were treated on their return home.
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