Registration for National Service (April 1940)

Throughout April 1940, posters and notices in the national press and on the BBC stated that men born between 1st January 1913 and 31st December 1913 were required to register for National Service on 27th April 1940.

An adapted extract based on a post-war “Requirement to Register” Poster

Cecil duly attended his local Employment Exchange on that date, where a clerk recorded his personal details including age, address, occupation and current employer; he was issued with a Certificate of Registration (NS2).

An example of a Certificate of Registration [NS2] (Post 1941)

Reserved in his present occupation

At the time of registration he was 26 years old and working as a Power Switchboard Attendant at Woolwich Arsenal; as such, he was subject to the age restrictions laid out in the Schedule of Reserved Occupations, which was now being utilised for both voluntary and mandatory registrations for national service.

Extract from the provisional Schedule of Reserved Occupations

The schedule stated that anyone who was 25 or older and working in “electricity generation” was reserved in his occupation for the benefit of the country and was not available for service in the armed forces.

Cecil was therefore required to continue in full time work with his current employer.

1940 to 1943

For the next three years, Cecil remained in Plumstead, London with his wife, Ethel. They extended the family with the birth of their daughter, Carol, in January 1941.

War torn Woolwich

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