Liverpool man joins end of National Service anniversary celebrations

More than two million men aged between 18 and 30 did their National Service between 1947 and 1963.

They had no choice - it was peacetime conscription.

One of them was Ray Harrington from Liverpool, who is now 87.

87 year old former Royal Marine Ray Harrington Credit: ITV Granada

Ray joined the Royal Marines, was in the Special Boat Service, and also became a parachute instructor.

His record was once doing 13 jumps in one day from the basket of a balloon at 2,000 ft.

Ray said: "I was always used to going out first.

"In fact there was one particular sergeant who was picked to go out first, and said to me, can you take my place."

Former Royal Marine Ray Harrington did 2 years National Service Credit: Ray Harrington

And it wasn't just about square-bashing on the parade ground across Britain. Thousands of men served their time abroad in countries as far away as Borneo and Kenya.

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire was the venue for a celebration of National Service veterans, to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of this generation who were conscripted between the end of the Second World War and 1963.

60 years on, the Royal British Legion is still supporting many National Service veterans and their families and would like to encourage others to seek support and comradeship by contacting the charity, which can offer help and advice for all those within the Armed Forces community.

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