Factfile: National Service

After the Second World War peacetime conscription was used between 1949 and 1960It remains the only peacetime conscription in UK history, apart from periods immediately before and after the Second World War.

After the Second World War peacetime conscription was used between 1949 and 1960

It remains the only peacetime conscription in UK history, apart from periods immediately before and after the Second World War.

From January 1 1949, every healthy man between 17 and 21 was expected to serve in the armed forces for 18 months, and remain on the reserve list for four years.

Men were exempt from National Service if they worked in three essential services - coal mining, farming and the merchant navy.

In October 1950, in response to the Korean War, the service period was extended to two years, although the reserve list period was reduced by six months to compensate.

Almost every town had units, and many had full regiments or battalions.

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National Service formally ended on December 31, 1960.

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