What was national service and when was it abolished?

Eighteen year olds would be forced to carry out a form of national service if the Tories are voted back in at the July 4 General Election, Rishi Sunak has revealed.

The most recent form of compulsory national service, which required all physically fit male British citizens aged between 18 and 26 to serve in the armed forces, was abolished in 1960.

However, various types of national service still exists in some countries including certain European nations and South Korea.

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Under the Conservatives' new proposal, young people would need to choose between a full-time armed forces placement for 12 months or spending one weekend per month for a year "volunteering" within their community.

The Prime Minister said that this would help unify society in an "increasingly uncertain world", providing young people with a "shared sense of purpose".

Mr Sunak said volunteering could include helping local fire, police and NHS services as well as charities tackling loneliness and supporting elderly, isolated people.

Following the end of World War II in 1945, the government sensed the necessity to maintain high levels of military presence, in regions including parts of the British Empire and Germany.

Responding to this, the National Service Act, mandating all fit British male citizens between 18 and 26 to serve in the armed forces for 18 months starting from January 1949, was passed by Clement Attlee's Labour administration in 1947.

This mandatory service included a range of roles both at home and overseas, from frontline combat to office work, and did not include women.

Certain groups, including students and apprentices, were permitted to postpone their service until they had finished their education or training.

National service was scrapped in 1960, with the final servicemen discharged in 1963.

As per the Royal British Legion, between the conclusion of the Second World War and May 1963, over two million men participated in national service.