This article was received
from Paul Daniels (The Paul Daniels) telling me
a little about his National Service memories.
Paul was truly a giant of the entertainment world
I was 18 and until
then I had never been far at all. I lived in the North East
tip of Yorkshire and the farthest I can recall going was to
the Norfolk Broads.
Travel was not as refined
as it is now-a-days, and I was a quiet fairly shy boy. Out
of the blue came some papers that said I had to attend for
a medical for National Service. Somehow I passed that and
as I had been working in Local Government in the Treasurer's
Department I asked to go into the Pay Corps.
They put me in the Infantry,
in the Green Howards.
knew nothing at all about the military. My father, ex wartime
Royal Navy, only had one piece of advice: "NEVER, EVER, volunteer
at the interview, when I was asked if I wanted to go to or
on an OSB, I said no. I also turned down a WOSB, didn't want
to be an NCO, nothing! I was blissfully unaware that I had
turned down an opportunity to go on an Officer Selection Board,
a Warrant Officer Selection Board, or to be an Non-Commissioned
Officer of any kind at all.
They kept looking at me
funny and months later, when I found myself in charge of Battalion
Records I noticed some notes on my records. Apparently I was
a right bolshy bugger who didn't want to play army at all.
I found out that I had the highest IQ in the Regiment, including
the Commanding Officer but because of my refusal to "play
the game" I was to be kept in the no man's land of being a
Private. I was posted to the British garrison in Hong Kong,
wrote to GHQ FARELF and pointed out that they might be losing
out on some good men by not explaining the military jargon
to new comers.
never got a reply!
(Copyright to Paul Daniels)
Born Newton Edward Daniels
6 April 1938
South Bank, Middlesbrough, England
Died 17 March 2016 (aged 77)
Wargrave, Berkshire, England