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Duration 00:30

Army Recruitment

The 1957 Defence White Paper announced that the army would be reduced in size from 330,000 to 165,000. The last National Serviceman was discharged from the British Army on 16 May 1963, making the Armed Forces an entirely professional force. Between 1958 and 1962, this enormous reduction in manpower led to eight cavalry and 30 infantry regiments being amalgamated.

The end of National Service also meant that there was a need for the army to maintain its numbers of professional regulars. Since that time a regular fixture on British television has been recruitment advertising for the Armed Forces, including the slogans ‘Be the Best’ and ‘Be Part of It’.

This film appeals to potential Army volunteers attracted by the possibility of travel around the world.


At 21 Bill Dowling has been to the Middle East, Berlin and Kenya with the Army. Ah, you’re saying, “That was when the Army was travelling.” They’ve never stopped. They’re just off again, this time on an NATO exercise in Europe for 6 weeks. Britain’s Strategic Command Forces are training abroad in 21 countries this year. Trained men. Professionals. Interested? Get the facts here or fill in this coupon in your TV paper.