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Charles Pasternak - The end of National Service

Features | By Charles Pasternak

The baby in the pram falling down the "Odessa Steps" from the movie "The Battleship Potemkin"

Charles Pasternak loved National Service, which ended 60 years ago, even if an officer thought he was a Russian spy because he once watched the film Battleship Potemkin

Sixty years ago, on 31st December 1960, the last men in Britain to do National Service were called up. For just under 12 years, from 1st January 1949, men between the ages of 17 and 21 did National Service for 18 months. In 1953, I was called up. I was allowed to make three potential choices for National Service. My choices were Royal Artillery, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and the Intelligence Corps – four years at university would give me an edge in getting my choice, I thought. ...

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