“A Voice for the Men Australia Forgot”

Nasho’s Stories

Imagine You Were A Nasho

Close your eyes and imagine. You’re a twenty-year-old National Service recruit, standing rigidly to attention, while an eighteen-year-old Lance Corporal drill instructor is screaming abuse at you, because you stuffed up again, didn’t you? His nose is 25mm from yours. You can smell his tobacco breath and little flecks of his spittle hit you in the face. If you do that again, he tells you, he is going forcibly insert you back into your mother and copulate you out of existence. Yes, Corporal, you shout back. You didn’t volunteer to be here but know you must accept this or face the consequences.

Welcome to basic army training at Kapooka, NSW, army Training Barracks, .


Now you are now twenty-two and discharged back into civilian life. Your pre-National Service girlfriend has moved on and is engaged to another bloke. They kept your job for you, because they had to, but you’ll need to be retrained and others have moved ahead of you in seniority. Some of your old mates are now in different friendship groups or moved away. If you go to a party, do not, under any circumstances, talk about your National Service or what a shitty deal you got. You’ll be told to get over it or be ignored. No-one wants to know about it, mate. Get over it.


Finally, imagine you’re a young man who has just been pardoned for a crime you didn’t commit. You served two years in prison. Are you going to claim compensation for the two years of your youth, wrongfully taken from you? You bet you are. What’s two years liberty worth? Half a million, more?

The survivors of the 48,000 National Servicemen who were conscripted between 1965 and 1972, but did not serve in a war zone, have received no thanks, acknowledgement, benefits or compensation for the two years of their youth taken from them, under threat of imprisonment.

Do you think that’s fair? We don’t, and that’s why we are now pushing for compensation. A DVA Gold Health Card would give us the comfort of knowing our medical needs would be looked after in our old age and security for our partners.


These are real stories from our members in their own words.

We’ll be adding more as they come.

Story by Rick

I was conscripted in the first intake of 1965 but deferred until 2 February 1966 to complete my first year of teaching.  The children’s year was not disrupted but my part-time psychology studies certainly were as my ambition was to become an educational psychologist....

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Story by Rod M.

STORY –  ROD M  - A Conscientious Objector’s National Service BACKGROUND A person’s teenage years are when they are feeling their way in the world and establishing their beliefs and moral compass, I was no different. I was sorting my own moral response to supporting a...

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Story by Rob M

A marble with a number attached - little did I know at the time that such a small object would have had such massive ramifications on the rest of my life. My life changed forever in 1967 when I received a letter informing me that I had been called for National Service...

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Story by George B

My name is George Baylis I was conscripted in the second intake 27/09 / 1965 in what I class as the most corrupt form of selected conscription. I was first sent to Puckapunual for recruit training , carried out by a bunch of alcoholic N.C.O who's training skills were...

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Story by Neil Br

It has taken nigh on 50 years, but I am finally sitting here documenting my National Service experience. It’s not going to easy but hopefully it will be therapeutic to some extent, so here goes. The exact dates are not critical to me, but I was in the 2nd last intake...

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Story by Shorty J

I’ll start my story with a little background of my early life.  Hope to indulge your patience.  The relevance will become obvious later. I come from what I would call a dysfunctional family, my mother died when I was 6 years old.  After which my father, two-year old...

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Story by Andrew W

Puckapunyal from 22/4/71 was a breeze really, compared to Singleton. Had a psyche rating of SG1 and "potential officer" stamped on my papers. No way I wanted to be responsible for the lives of others in Vietnam, so I didn't pursue it and became a grunt with 7RAR. I...

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Story by Bruce M

I am writing this hoping to get some assistance, as I served overseas in Malaysia as a National Serviceman. My overseas deployment was with the 110 LAA Bty at the Butterworth Airbase as a driver from 24th August, 1967 to 24th December 1968 (493 days). Until now I have...

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Story by Reg P

CONSCRIPTION OR 2 YEARS IN A MILITARY PRISON In 1966 I was conscripted for 2 years full time service in the Australian Army This was deferred until 1968 for me to finish my training as a Butcher. In February 1968 I was admitted to the Australian Army although my...

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Story by John K

In 1969, most Nashos I knew had completed 5 year apprenticeships and were just beginning to earn full pay (Army pay. in comparison, was extremely low.) At 19 years of age, most young men in Australia were still living at home. As you approached eligible age for...

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