national service experience

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national service experience

Postby mystery item on January 5th, 2011, 9:24 pm

Since you have personally experienced national service, it would be interesting to know what your overall attitude towards it is/was? It is fairly well known that despite its mandatory nature, a good many young men dreaded conscription and found ways to avoid it. Obviously you did not take this course, and I was wondering if it was in part because the notion of service simply concurred with the values of your upbringing or because you in some way thought it would actually be an opportunity to radically break with your past and learn the "ways of the world."
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Re: national service experience

Postby Tom Baker on January 7th, 2011, 5:15 pm

National Service! I have always had an interest in water, especially hot water; yes, I have spent a lot of time in hot water, splashing away. And if the water was soapy I was in heaven. My mother used to say: " Our Tom loves his water hot and soapy. Born to do the washing up he was, just like his uncle Ted." And she was right. I just had a natural feel for dirty dishes in hot soapy water. It was a terrible blow to me when the dish washer came in.

So when I was called up for National Service and they asked me what I was good at I didn't like to mention soapy water or humility which was another hobby at the time in case they thought I was odd. So I just shrugged and shook my head and they put me in the Medical Corps. I should have told them about the soapy water and they might have put me in the Catering Corps where I could have spent two years up to my oxters in in hot suds. But it was not to be. So I was taught to make beds and give the kiss of life instead. But I was quite happy in the Medics. And I look back on those days very fondly. Yes, I did my bit, kissing away and plumping pillows and feeling pulses.

Those were the days.

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