10 signatures reached
To: The Government
Recognition for National Servicemen
Recognition in the form of a Defence Medal for the service given in defence of this country by all those conscripted to serve in the armed forces as National Servicemen.
Why is this important?
The National Servicemen were the school lads during WW2. Like everyone else they'd suffered the hardships of war: the air raids, the bombing, the gas masks, the rationing, a life of absent fathers, uncles and elder brothers away at war, evacuation to far away places, and many becoming the man of the house long before their time.
When the war was over, they were as war weary as the rest, they'd had their share, but there was more to come for this generation of lads.
When the war was over, those gallant heroes who had served so bravely in the war, had to be allowed to return home, and rightly so. However the country found itself with many unforeseen post war commitments. Occupied territories had to be controlled, the retreat from the empire had to be policed and a new enemy in the form of the soviet union was fast developing. The country was bankrupt and needed many men to fill the ranks. So, in 1947 the National Service act came into being, This required all young men when reaching the age of 18 to register for National Service. They would be required to serve two years in a branch of the armed forces, followed by many years on reserve. This continued for 15 years until 1962. Three thousand young men were taken from home to serve each week during that period, a total of 2 million young men.
Choice did not come into it. They had to go. They had no control over which branch of the services they went in, what job the did, or where they served. They went when they were called, they served where they were they were sent, and did what was asked of them for this country without question. Also they did their service on half the pay given to their regular gallant comrades of equal rank and status, making a financial contribution to the country. They served in many bases around the UK, Europe and many conflict areas around the world. They were the bulk of our military manpower at the height of the cold war.
During that period, over two thousand National Servicemen lost their lives and many more were injured.
For the first and only time in the long history of this great country, young men were taken from home by rule of law to serve in the ranks in peacetime. They are unique. All request for a simple defence medal, similar to the one given to the Bevin boys (miners), Home Guard and other Civil Defence units during the war have been turned down.
The youngest NS man will now be 75 years old, let's put this right before it is too late. Please support this petition.