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The Call-Up

Tom Hickman

1 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, British & Irish history

The most colourful and comprehensive history of national service ever published, featuring more than 80 interviews with those who experienced it, as well as correspondence from the period

From 1947 to 1963 some 2.3 million men were conscripted to do national service. For some it was to prove the most exciting and terrifying time of their lives, as many were sent to the Korean War or to countries such as Palestine and Kenya where the terrorist threat was ever-present. They faced death and learned about sex. For others, it was a frustrating interference in their lives, made all the more ridiculous by endless hours of square-bashing or painting coal white.
Tom Hickman shows just how varied were the experiences of the recruits. By talking to over 80 veterans, he recalls the hilarious and moving stories from those times, and seeks to explain why the subject still causes debate more than 40 years on. Above all, The Call-Up is a portrait of a vanished era that many still feel has something to teach us today.

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Praise for The Call-Up

  • fascinating account of National Service...A compelling read about compulsory military service during peacetime - Sun

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Tom Hickman

Tom Hickman, 23585207, began his National Service in 1958, finishing as a second lieutenant with the King's Africa Rifles in Kenya. He went on to become the features editor of the TV Times for ten years, the author of several books and is now a freelance writer.

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