The National Serviceman

by | Nov 1, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

World War 2 was long over
The Opressors threat was past
But still mandatory for National Servicemen
To join a Military Force so vast
Occupations they’re forced to leave
Where they’d worked since they were boys
Conscripted to Military Service
And they were given no choice
Except for which colour Uniform
Would they like to choose
Would it be the Army Khaki
Or one of the shades of Blues
Many left home for the first time
Not knowing what to expect
A totally new experience
To be taught the meaning of respect
Issued Uniforms, Allocated beds
Then down to the Barbers Shop
To get their shaven heads
When they stood on the square
Everything would be fine
As long as no hair showed
Below the new Beret line
They practiced and drilled
For hour after hour
To hear the Drill Sergeant shout
“You bloody horrible shower”
A term of endearment you later found out
Used at will on raw recruits
As NCO’s pleasure was to yell & shout
Polish your brass and get a shine on those boots
Conscripts and Regulars together trained
As Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors to be
They would serve theFlag, their Country and Queen
These men of the Military
The lads of the day all mixed in together
Tho a barrier I think it is fair to say
And that was blatantly obvious
In the different levels of pay
The wage of a National Serviceman
Was a mere £1.8 shillings per week
Less 4 shillings for Barrack Room damages
Which I used to think was a cheek
However at that time a Regular Serviceman
A princely £2.12 shillings would receive
And they also had another advantage
As they were allowed more Annual Leave
The N S man served for only two years
The Regular 3, 5 12 years or life
But they were truly brothers in arms
When it came to times of strife
The theatres of war I remember
As tho’ it were only yesterday
Korea, Malaya and Borneo
Where comradeship came into play
The trade that they learned as a raw recruits
To obey those words of command
In order to survive the conflicts
And not perish in some Foreign Land
For their Enemies were not selective
Their sole objective was to kill
It mattered not what kind of Service Man
These marksmen would use their skill
In an effort to conquer our Peace Keeping Forces
The Terrorists no quarter would give
But the Battle seasoned Sergeant would never give up
To make sure all his troops would live
Regulars and National Servicemen side by side
But sadly some of the missions were lost
And many of Britain’s young men died
Their sacrifice for Peace a terrible cost
So looking through those Conscriptive years
Were I an opinion to give
I believe it was a transition from boy to man
To return as a Civilian to live
For some a harsh lesson in reality
In Uniform there’s so much to learn
Especially for the Conscript looking for Demob
And to his chosen career return.


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