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Thread: How about that

  1. #1
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    Default How about that

    I signed up and went to Gravesend (Catering) in 1953, 16 years old. The law was I had to stay in until aged 26. I enjoyed my time until I met what I thought was the women of my dreams, the thought of being away from her was not on. I jumped! I paid off the the Athlone Castle in 58, went to the catering school for six weeks, gave a cock and bull story so I could get my National Health cards and work for a month before heading back to sea, as I had a contract with Union Castle. We got married on Saturday June 7th, 1958, and sailed for Canada the next Wednesday, (I think). Aboard the Sylvania.

    The reason I needed my NH Cards was that you were supposed to hand them in before you left the country if you were emigrating. Never was asked for them, so assume it was B.S..

    I guess I was the only MN guy that jumped ship in England.

    About three months after I left, My mother said there was a knock at the door. Standing there was an officer and two military police. The officer asked if I was there. She said "He emigrated to New Zealand and he's not coming back." and that was the last she heard of it.

    I've wondered, perhaps if I had handed in my NH cards, it would have filtered down eventually to the army that I'd done a runner and had no plan to come back, and if I had come back I would have had to reapply for my NH cards and "Gotcher Rodney!" Maybe I'm reading to much into it, but It's a thought.

    Cheers, Rodney
    Last edited by Rodney Mills; 15th September 2021 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Parents

    Cheers Rodney, both interesting and as ever well received.

    Regards,

    Keith.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Parents

    #1 Pardon my ignorance Rodney was that the option do 10 years in the MN or National Service? I wonder what the option would be these days if they ever introduced National Service again, we no longer have have a Merchant Service worth a mention.

  4. Thanks Doc Vernon, Terry Sullivan thanked for this post
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    Default Re: Parents

    My son had a friend when in his teens , think again may of already put this on before, anyhow will be there twice if have. His father was French and his mother was English , think he was also born in England and had never been to France and did not speak the lingo. He got his French call up papers as believe their national service the same as the likes of Norway ran on for long after the British one. He refused to go, and was told if he ever visited France he would be arrested as a draft dodger. JS
    R575129

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    Default Re: How about that

    Hi Rod.
    Like me when I emigrated to NZ, my sister sent me the callup papers, I got them in Cape Town, I had them for years can't find them now, don't think they will still be after me.
    Des
    Lest We Forget

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    Default Re: How about that

    Joined the Merchant Navy at the time, so was exempted from South African National Service, however landed up later doing time with the RAF which i loved!
    Cheers
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: How about that

    #6.. You’d be in your element here then Vernon, could look at all the pictures of past airmen in the main hall , you may know who they all are , I don’t. I was an Honoury member of the RAAFA Up to last week, but now a full member on a small annual charge which gets me into various establishments , still looking for the Houses of Ill Repute , Remember travelling in a train in uk 65 years ago with a young airman going back to his billet , complaining bitterly that a regiment of Gurkha troops stationed near him had their own house of ill repute sponsored by the British government , and they didn’t , thought maybe they may have got over the years ,but not sighted yet . Maybe being the Oz airforce they may have camels instead , if NZ maybe sheep. Cheers JS.

    We stayed on an American Airbase in Lincs round about the time the Yanks bombed Gaddafi.They were friends of the wife and we were invited to stay with them for a week, as they had stayed with us. You would not have known you were in England , everything was there , bowling alleys, cinemas ,Stores selling everything , the only one we weren’t allowed in was their PX duty free. They even had their own police force and sheriffs department .Their own families plus all their family pets. Some of those families never went outside the gates so didn’t even know what England looked like. All their food was flown in from the states daily. Don’t think they bought anything locally. Schools churches everything there , it was little America in England , and would have to see it to believe it. Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 16th September 2021 at 04:37 AM.
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    Default Re: How about that

    I was always confused about the length of time required at sea to avoid conscription.

    In 1960 I was told it was two years but some here say longer.
    I know many of the gay brigade went to avoid not only conscription but procecution if found in a compromising situation.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
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    Default Re: How about that

    Quote Originally Posted by happy daze john in oz View Post
    I was always confused about the length of time required at sea to avoid conscription.

    In 1960 I was told it was two years but some here say longer.
    I know many of the gay brigade went to avoid not only conscription but procecution if found in a compromising situation.
    John the length depended on when you joined the MN, if joining at 16 then it was 10 years, as you could be called up until aged 26, most joined up before papers starting arriving at age 18, some didn't get their papers until in their 20's so delayed entry, but they were chancers. The only official delayed conscriptions were apprenticed engineers (as far as MN is concerned). What most forget is the exemption proviso for the MN, if you came ashore at aged 26 then you automatically went on the reservist list until aged 36, but this could only be activated if UK was involved in another WW and not wars sch as Korea etc

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    Default Re: How about that

    I think by the time i went to sea late 1957, national service had been scrubbed, unless i am on the reserve list, and i don't know about it LOL, in any case at 81 now would not be much good, kt
    R689823

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