In the First and Second World Wars, men had come forward to join the colours willingly, or had been compelled by conscription. But after the end of National Service, and the demobilisation of the last conscripts in 1963, Britain’s military needed to find new ways to fill its ranks, without an ideological enemy threatening it directly, or conscription. This talk looks at the different ways the British armed forces sold itself to potential recruits as a career from 1963 to 1980, and how those varied across the service branches of land, sea and air.
Peter Johnston recently completed his PhD in history at the University of Kent, having previously gained his BA and MA in history at the University of Durham. While interested in all areas of military history, his doctoral thesis focused on the cultural and social history of the British professional armed forces at war in the Falklands. He has delivered papers at postgraduate and inter-disciplinary academic conferences, as well as at the National Army Museum in London. He currently works as a freelance historical researcher and content writer, working with private clients, authors and on museum exhibitions.