Report on the Bevin Boys
In November by popular request, Joan Congleton repeated her talk originally given to the Coffee morning.
Jean Southwell has written this report.
Early in World War II, it was realized that more coal was needed to fuel the factories making armaments. In 1943, Ernest Bevin introduced the policy whereby 10% of all new recruits to the Services should become miners.
On joining up, the young men, usually eager to fight for their country, were subjected to a balloting system. At regular intervals in the Ministry of Labour and National Service, a number of 0-9 was randomly selected. Any new recruit with this figure at the end of his registration number had to become a ‘Bevin Boy’ and work in a coal mine.
This was compulsory and NOT negotiable.
The role of the Bevin Boys was movingly described by Ron Leach, a former Bevin Boy