I read the article ‘Do you remember National Service’ by Jacqui Ovenden with great interest.
I served initially in the Royal Sussex Regiment under early training at Chichester and changing to the Corps of Royal Engineers on passing a War Office Selection Board (WOSB) and proceeding to Newark and Aldershot and being posted to Cove near Farnborough as MTO to a RE training unit.
I spent just over two years in the Army and thoroughly enjoyed almost the whole time.
Having read this article it struck me that as in a number of European countries who have maintained the practice, we should seriously consider reintroducing it in the UK.
In addition to helping to reduce unemployment among the young at the end of their education it would complement the Armed Services that are undergoing reductions in their numbers and consequent capability and teach them to understand discipline and resultant self-discipline and service to others.
Costs need not be exceptionally high and would probably be no more than the benefits that would be granted in the case of unemployment and some may well opt to stay on in the services at the end of their statutory period of service.
I hope that our local Member of Parliament, who writes so well each week in your newspaper, will note this idea and perhaps even suggest it to the Prime Minister for consideration.
I would close by mentioning that I was initially against the size alteration to the County Times but I have to admit that the general arrangement and content is now even better.
LEO V. CRUTTENDEN