RBL in 1939 and for the next 21 years until 1961

  • 03 min read
  • 21 Mar 2024
RBL in 1939 and for the next 21 years until 1961

RBL in 1939 at the start of the Second World War and for the next 21 years until 1961

In 1939 at the start of the Second World War and for the next 21 years until 1960, the young menfolk of this country of ours were conscripted to serve in the nation’s armed forces in the hope of protecting this land from any further assault by a foreign power. Young men were ‘called up’ at the age of 17 but if they were undergoing professional training for a career, National Service could be deferred until they had gained their qualifications. When I was called up I was 21, having professionally qualified, and was also engaged to be married; so the next two years would mark a major disruption to my lifestyle whether I liked it or not. I chose to serve in the RAF following a family tradition and my love of aviation, and I was very fortunate to be trained on RADAR the trade for which I had asked. My technical training was near Swanage before being sent to serve abroad in NATO at a secret radar station in North Holland. I can honestly say that this intervention in my life made a man of me, and looking back now at the age of 90, those two years of national service were some of the most memorable in my life, even though our nation had managed to procure for itself a private war in Egypt in the Canal Zone with Colonel Nasser at the time. Setting up our mobile transmitter against the fence of the Iron Curtain in Germany, was never going to be popular with the Russians, who at that time were threatening us with rockets (after the USA had declined to support our joint enterprise with France). Not-withstanding the tensionwe endured during this time, the comradeship built up with your fellow pals all looking out for, and supporting each other, it was a unique period and although not appreciated at the time, has become very obvious in later life. When my twoyears were over and I returned to England, I could not wait to be home and get married and re-start my professional career. It was many years later when life had moved on and the family had all grown up and gone their own ways in life, that I came to realise just how much I miss the fun-times and fellowship of those years when serving my country with my colleagues who were ‘all in the same boat’. If you served your country in the armed forces and that most definitely includes ‘National Servicemen’ and perhaps have a secret yearning to re-live some of that close bond and comradeship you once had and now miss, why not come and meet up with like-minded folk male or female, who have served at some time in ‘The Mob’. We (many of us ex-servicemen and women), meet regularly once a month at a local venue for a get together with a chat and hot drink. We also get out and about with our smart gazebo at as many public functions as we can manage. Come and meet us we would love to hear your stories and if you have any ‘gongs’pin them on and that includes your National Service Medal if you have it. Tell us the stories about your memorable times in the service as we would love to hear of them and have a laugh along with you.

John Mason: Powick and Callow End- Malvern (branch president).

Royal British Legion: Powick and Callow End –Malvern Branch

Meet: Second Tuesday of each month at 8pm. (Except August and December) at Madresfield Working Men’s Club. The first date with our gazebo this year is Priory Park - Malvern on Sunday 30th June