Nostalgia: Share your memories of national service

THE EXPERIENCE of National Service saw many entering as boys and leaving after two years as men.

For those who still remember the time they spent in the service, a number of associations today still see former servicemen meeting to discuss their experiences of a memorable time in their lives.

One such association meets quarterly in Arundel.

Following a previous article in the Observer about national servicemen, Philip Newman, honorary secretary of the National Service (Royal Air Force) Association’s West Sussex branch contacted the paper.

The branch meets four times a year at the Norfolk Arms Hotel, in the High Street, Arundel, where former RAF servicemen and their wives or partners attend for lunch. There is often a guest speaker present.

In his letter, Mr Newman said most former servicemen remained proud of their military service around the time of the Korean War and subsequent Cold War.

The West Sussex branch of the national association reunites those who did their service in the RAF and now live in the area.

It meets on the first Wednesday in February, April, July and October.

For more information about the branch, contact Mr Newman on 01798 815259.

Meanwhile, another group based in Selsey continues to seek the memories of former national servicemen.

Edward Clamp, from Selsey, who runs an online forum at http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/JointServiceSelsey/ for former servicemen to share their memories, said previously that even in Selsey he heard of ‘at least five young, local National Service lads in the Royal Sussex Regiment who went to fight in Korea’.

He added that a further serviceman from the area had served his time in the RAF regiment in Iraq.

The group is for all those who live in the Chichester area and beyond.