by Derek Rosser
There were seven of us in that poky little office. They are scattered far and wide across the globe now but I expect that, if they ever read this, they will recognise themselves.
We were all engaged in a common pursuit called ‘Avoiding Conscription’. The last ‘War to end wars’ had been over for about eight years but the government of the day, in its wisdom, found it necessary to maintain the armed forces at full strength to ensure our continued survival.
Needless to say those of us upon whom the burden was likely to fall did not support this point of view. We were, however, given little opportunity to argue our case.
The ritual began at the age of eighteen when all males were obliged to register for National Service and be subjected to medical examination. The examination appeared to consist of coughing while the examiner retained a firm hold upon your vital appendages. To make absolutely certain, you were instructed to touch your toes while he carried out a close scrutiny of your posterior orifice.