- When Britain declared war in 1939, thousands of experienced miners left the mines to join the armed services or transfer to higher-paid "war industries".
- By the summer of 1943 more than 36,000 men had left the coal industry and the Government decided it needed around 40,000 men to take their places.
- Labour and National Service Minister Ernest Bevin devised a scheme whereby a ballot put a proportion of conscripts into the collieries rather than the armed services.
- Alongside the ballotees were also men who volunteered for service in the coal mines rather than military.
- Between 1943 and 1948, 48,000 young men were conscripted for National Service Employment in British coal mines - they were known as the Bevin Boys.
- It is thought around 5,000 miners lost their lives during the war.
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