The Peacetime Conscripts

Charles Wheeler with a five-part series on national service.


0101It Was Always On A Thursday2000071020010930

Call-up papers are received and new recruits consider their new life ahead.

0102Brasso, Bull And Bullying2000071720011007

As 1950s Britain enjoyed a new prosperity, young men underwent the rigours of basic training.

0103From Shouting To Shooting2000072420011014

The stories of national servicemen who were caught up in Britain's colonial skirmishes and the growing Cold War.

0104Angry Young Men2000073120011021

When the Suez crisis blew up, recruits started to question their role in propping up colonial outposts.

0105Demob Suits At Dawn2000080720011028

This week, with the end of national service in sight, ticking off the final days became the routine. However, when demob day finally arrived, the national service men found it difficult fitting in with civilian life.

0106 LASTBest Years Of Their Lives?2000081420011104

A special discussion asking whether it really was the best of times, or just a costly and unwieldy way of propping up the armed forces.