Bush Nationals

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The objective of the Bush Nationals is to provide a social golfing environment for those members of Bush Hill Park Golf Club who completed a term of National Service.

The Bush Nationals were formed in 1985 as a society for young ex-servicemen who had stepped forward when their country called in the dangerous post-War period that became know as ‘The Cold War’.

 2017 Dates 

Friday 7 April at 1.30 pm
18-hole Stableford for the Navy Cup

Thursday 25 May at 1.30 pm
18-hole Stableford for the Army Cup

Sunday 25 June at 1.00 pm
Sunday lunch to celebrate Armed Services Day
This is a club function and all booking should be made direct with the caterers

Wednesday 9 August at 1.00 pm
GUEST DAY
18-hole fourball better ball competition

Tuesday 22 August at 1.00pm
Match versus the Ladies

Thursday 14 September at 1.30 pm
18-hole Stableford for the RAF Cup, AGM and prize presentation

Friday 10 November - 12.30 pm for 1.00 pm
Annual Luncheon

The three Cups, Guest Day and the match versus the Ladies’ will be followed by dinner

National Service

The years of National Service cover almost two decades - from World War Two to the birth of the Beatles. In all, between 1945 and 1963, 2.5 million young men were compelled to do their time in National Service - with 6,000 being called up every fortnight

National Service as peacetime conscription was formalised by the National Service Act 1948. From 1 January 1949, healthy males 17 to 21 years old were expected to serve in the Armed Forces for 18 months, and remain on the reserve list for four years.

Some went willingly, while others were reluctant but resigned. A few were downright bloody-minded, seeing little difference between their call up and the press gangs of Britain's distant past.

At first public opinion was behind the idea of National Service. It was clear in the immediate post war political landscape that Britain had considerable obligations and only a limited number of men still in service.

There was Germany to be occupied with 100,000 troops; and Austria too. In the Middle East there was Palestine to be policed, Aden to be protected, the Suez Canal Zone to be held down - as well as Cyprus, Singapore, Hong Kong and a chain of lesser military bases.

However, in the milk bars and Lyon's tea shops of those days, no amount of government propaganda could stop youngsters of both sexes grousing about the disruption to their lives caused by National Service. It would have an effect on education plans, young boys starting apprenticeships, and on girlfriends faced with the prospect of their partners disappearing with only occasional leave. The only escape, so it seemed, was failing the medical although at the time there was a prohibition on serving members of the Armed Forces standing for election to Parliament. A few national servicemen stood for election in the 1951 and 1955 General Elections in order to be dismissed from service.

Overnight, the national servicemen had to learn a new language. 'Blanco', 'spit-n-polish', 'rifle oil', 'pull throughs', and the dreaded 'bull' and 'jankers'. Once they had been shaved and kitted out - all within a few hours of arrival - the rookie national servicemen all looked identical, even if, back in the barrack room, every man was still an individual.

The arena for the breaking in of these young men was the parade ground. In squads they learnt how to obey orders instinctively, and to react to a single word of command, by coping with a torrent of abuse from the drill sergeant.

National Service as peacetime conscription was formalised by the National Service Act 1948. From 1 January 1949, healthy males 17 to 21 years old were expected to serve in the Armed Forces for 18 months, and remain on the reserve list for four years. They could be recalled to their units for up to 20 days for no more than three occasions during these four years. Men were exempt from National Service if they worked in one of the three ‘essential services’: coal mining, farming and the merchant navy for a period of eight years. If they quit early, they were subject to be called up. Exemption continued for conscientious objectors, with the same tribunal system and categories.

In October 1950, in response to the British involvement in the Korean War, the service period was extended to two years. To compensate the reserve period was reduced by six months. National Servicemen who showed promise could be commissioned as officers. National Service personnel were used in combat operations, including the Malayan emergency, the Cyprus emergency, in Kenya against the Mau Mau Uprising, and the Korean War, where conscripts to the Gloucestershire Regiment took part in the last stand during the Battle of the Imjin River.

National Service ended on 31 December 1960, but those who had deferred service for reasons such as university studies or on compassionate or hardship grounds still had to complete their National Service after this date. It had also previously been decided that only those born up to 1 October 1939 were to be called up. The last man called up for National Service, Private Fred Turner of the Army Catering Corps, was discharged on 7 May 1963. However, the last National Serviceman was Lieutenant Richard Vaughan of the Royal Army Pay Corps, who was discharged six days later on 13 May 1963. When National Service ended, some men continued serving voluntarily.

Did you know?

2.5 million young men completed National Service.

Some people say it started in 1949 making it a little over 13 years from first man in to last man out. Others say from the end of the Second World War and calculate National Service as a little over 17 years.

The Army took 72 men in every 100 (with four in ten going to the ‘teeth’ arms of infantry, Royal Artillery and Armoured Corps), the RAF 26 (precious few of whom would get anywhere near an aircraft) and the Navy only 2.

In 1950 National Service increased from 18 months to 2 years.

The very last national service draft was on

17 November 1960 when 2,049 men were called up.

1,999 went into the Army and 50 to the RAF.

When it was announced the 2,049 thought they would be going home only they were not. A TV crew turned up to get a reaction and as a PR exercise the Army released the last two men through the gates.

The last naval conscript left in late 1961, by January 1963 the last airmen had left; the conscript with the last issued number (23819209), Private Fred Turner, became a civilian on 7 May 1963. However, the last National Serviceman was Lieutenant Richard Vaughan of the Royal Army Pay Corps, who was discharged six days later on 13 May 1963.

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