Cahill, Rowan: Conscription story

Cahill, Rowan

A conscription story, 1965-69‘, The Hummer, 2, 4, 1995 (Australasian Society for the Study of Labour History)

Memoir of a conscription resister. Such accounts are relatively rare, though see here. Includes the reasons the author gave for his application to be exempted from conscription. According to Caulfield, over 800 000 men registered for ‘national service’ during this period, 63 735 were called up, 1012 of these sought exemption as conscientious objectors and 733 were granted full exemptions. Conscientious objection to the Vietnam War was not accepted as a valid ground of objection. According to the Australian War Memorial, ‘From 1965 to 1972, 15,381 national servicemen served in the Vietnam War, with 200 killed and 1,279 wounded. The National Service Scheme was abolished on 5 December 1972 by the newly elected Labor government.’

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