5. Deferment of Call-Up.
If good reasons were adduced deferment of National Service was possible. Completing an apprenticeship is one example. My deferment permitted me to take a professional exam. But many conscripts who intended to receive a university education preferred to get their National Service over with first and never sought a deferment.
A disadvantage of a long deferment was that you were then much older than the others you joined with. The advantage of completing your National Service first was the maturity gained and applied.
6. Financial Hardship
If financial hardship to a family resulted from loss of income, grants were available to alleviate it, but the national serviceman was obliged to contribute to the grant received by his family.
7. Conscientious Objection
If a conscript asserted a conscientious objection to service, the Forces would evaluate the seriousness of it, for some simply tried this route to avoid service. If successful the conscript could be released by being registered unconditionally in that category, directed to work of a specific social value or called for non–combatant duties.
This was invariably less than one had been used to in civilian life. It increased with service and qualifications and where posted. I was in a highly paid army ‘trade’ and got extra for being abroad. I was never short although the money always went, for when free and able to get out of camp we lived well. Others less qualified will have fared differently, and not as well.
I started on four shillings a day, 4/- in the old decimal system or one fifth of a pound, so 20p in today’s currency. By the time I finished two years later I was drawing, around 65$HK a week, a little less than twelve shillings a day or 60p with an “A” classification. One could take less and put some into savings, or allocate it to a dependent, but out of ones pay there were always stoppages, as the army put it, and I recall one for ‘barrack room damages’. Ostensibly, this was to pay for wear and tear to our billet, which always struck me as unreasonable and unjustified. None were palatial by any stretch of the imagination, and it is difficult to see how the spartan accommodation with the minimum of functional indestructible furnishings could be damaged.