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National Service on Devonshire

National Service
Submitted by Robert BENNS

As a National Serviceman I served on HMS Devonshire 13/04/49 – 13/01/50 as a Stores Assistant.

This included two cruises –
Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland. Then to the Med – Gib,
Sardinia, Villefranche and Sorrento.

Two of my school friends (Plymouth College) were on board as Cadets which made life interesting!
Altogether a marvellous experience and one that has influenced my life beyond belief.

John Eggleston was inflential in getting me this seatime which was most unusual for a Nationbal Serviceman. He went on to become a Professor of Education with an outstanding career, dying unfortuately in 2001. Obituary

I still remember with gratitude CPO (S) Young who made life on board a real pleasure.


Full-time conscription in the United Kingdom was first introduced in 1916, and lasted from 1916 to 1919 and from 1939 to 1960. From 1948 it was generally known as National Service – during the First and Second World Wars it was usually known as War Service or Military Service (though the act re-introducing it in 1939 was entitled the National Service (Armed Forces) Act).

By Admin: Are there anymore National Servicemen out there that can recall those “happy two years”? I recall the ones we had on HMS Bermuda, they were mainly Decoders!

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