The Paul Daniels


This article was received from Paul Daniels (The Paul Daniels) telling me a little about his National Service memories.

1938 - 2016

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.

I knew nothing at all about the military. My father, ex wartime Royal Navy, only had one piece of advice: "NEVER, EVER, volunteer for ANYTHING".

So 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,

I 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.

I never got a reply!

(Copyright to Paul Daniels)

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