National Service Gets The Comedy Treatment
Most people have heard of National Service, introduced after World War 2, in 1949, when young men between the ages of 17 and 21 had to serve an 18-month period in one of the armed foeces.
By 1962 it had come to an end as the final conscripts passed out. Television was in it’s infancy, but National Service provided a perfect subject for comedy writers.
In 1957 Sid Collin created The Army Game about a group of recruits completing their National Service in the Army. The subject matter proved popular and the following year 1958, Norman Hudis and John Antrobus took the same subject matter and wrote the very first Carry On film – Carry On Sergeant.
National service is often brought up by Harold in Steptoe and Son and the 1960’s BBC comedy The Likely Lads ends with Terry going off to do his National Service.
Reaching the 1970’s National Service becomes the subject matter for another ITV sitcom, the brilliant “Get Some In” although this time the setting is the RAF.