Books about National Service

For a generation of British teenagers, being 'called up' to do two years National Service during the postwar era of the 1940s/50s was an experience that defined their young lives. These books tell a few of their stories...

Erks On Parade

by Graham Wise
A humorous look at the life of an ordinary RAF Airman in the 1950s.

Going Nowhere

by Tom Eadie
A Nottinghamshire lad's National Service experiences with the Royal Artillery in Malaya 1954-56.

In Defence of the Realm

by Peter Voyse
An erk-some account of RAF National Service 1954-56 working on the Chain Home Low air defence system

Letters Home - A National Servicemans Sketchbook

By Edmund Hodges
A talented artist on National Service in Egypt and Cyprus 1955/56 illustrates his letters home with paintings and sketches.

My Best Blue Days – Recollections of an RAF Airman 1952-56

by Reg Chiddick
Enjoyable account of the author's for years National Service in the Royal Air Force as an Electrical Mechanic (Air) 1952-56

National Service Erk

by Ron Swain
An RAF airman’s experiences with 148 Squadron 1952-3

RAF National Service in Six Movements

by Roy Taylor
An RAF National Serviceman's experiences in the 1950s as a Radar Technician.

RAF Plumber

by Michael 'Andy' Anderton
Experiences with things that go bang ~ during 30 years as an RAF Armourer 1953-83

Return to Gan

by Michael Butler
An account of activities at RAF Gan in 1960-61 and of a recent return visit to see what remains of the former base.
Safari Mzuri

Safari Mzuri

by Brian J. Elliott
RAF National Servicemen have a wild time in 1960's Kenya in this entertaining tale.
Sam Brownes Schooldays by Berwick Coates

Sam Brownes Schooldays – National Service Basic Training in the 1950s

by Berwick Coates
A  squad of National Service recruits undergo their six weeks of basic training in the British Army of the 1950s.

The Other Royal Air Force

by Ray Clinton
An RAF airman's experiences while on National Service in the UK and Egypt, 1951-55.

The Unknown Conscript

by Peter Saunders
A true-to-life tale of National Service recruits in Cyprus during the unrest of the 1950s.

We Blazed the Trail

edited by Robin Reid and Malcolm Cleverley 
The short but eventful history of the Civil Defence Experimental Mobile Column 1953/4.

Flying Upside Down

by Richard G. Walker
Memories of childhood / adolescence during and after WW2 in Stopsley, Bedfordshire and subsequent RAF National Service