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National Service (research)

edited December 2013 in Writing
Could a person doing National Service have served on a ship? (UK late 50s or early 60s)


  • Yes, and a few qualified to fly in the RAF
  • Thank you!

    I want my retired character to have discovered he was seasick before meeting his wife - during National Service seemed like a good option.

    Didn't know about them flying either. National Service stopped before I was born. Neither my Dad nor Grandad did it so it's not something I know much about.
  • This link might be helpful - there doesn't seem to be many that were in the RN, so that might be of interest in itself.

  • Just asked my hubby the question - he was a Royal Navy regular. He said National Service in the Navy was phased out earlier than the other services but very few did their National Service in the Navy - in 1960 there were only 500 RN National Servicemen compared with 98,000 in the other forces. But yes, Naval National Servicemen did go on ships.
  • Thanks.

    As long as it's possible and believable that he could have gone to see that'll work.
  • My husband had to do National Service so plumped for the Royal Navy in 1956 and liked it so much he did 22 years.
  • Thanks. Do you know if he went to sea during the National Service part?
  • Don't forget the Merchant Navy - you didn't need to be on National Service to get in & out of that, nor were you tied to a service "contract" for years...
  • Phots Moll - After his initial training in Fareham, he joined a ship in The Mediterranean and was out there for about 18 months (based in Malta).
  • I live a couple of miles outside Fareham.
  • Phots Moll - An apology, I got it wrong. My husband did have to do National Service but decided to sign up for the RN for 9 years to begin with then carried on for 22 years.
    When we first got married we lived in Fareham (West Street). We went back for to have a look at the old place about five years ago, there was a roundabout where our little bungalow used to be.
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