AN EXHIBITION marking the 40th anniversary of the end of National Service has turned up one of the last men in the Huddersfield area to be demobbed.

Skelmanthorpe man Stuart Shaw was called up into the Army on September 20, 1960, and left the forces in March, 1963.

His name came to light after Red House Museum at Gomersal launched a campaign to find Yorkshire's last National Serviceman, which turned out to be Geoffrey Williams, from Leeds, who was demobbed on May 12, 1963.

Mr Shaw should have served just two years before returning to "Civvy Street".

But he had his term increased by six months after the Government discovered that a volunteer armed force could not be recruited quickly enough.

Mr Shaw, of Lidgett Lane, said he and fellow members of the Army Catering Corps in Hildesheim, Germany, launched vociferous protests.

"We weren't pleased at all when we discovered we'd another six months to do. We protested by going into town and raising merry hell," said Mr Shaw.

But, despite his protests at the extension of his service, it was a time in his life which he thoroughly enjoyed.

"I was expecting my call-up papers, so it wasn't such a shock. But it is when you get there, taken away from your family and friends.

"Despite that, I had a great time and made some really good pals," said Mr Shaw, who is married to Anne and has a daughter, Katrina, and two granddaughters.

Before being called up Mr Shaw lived with his late parents, Lottie and John Edward Shaw, in Scissett.

He was then 21 and had served his apprenticeship as a butcher, which was why he was chosen for the Catering Corps.

During his National Service he prepared and cooked breakfasts, dinners and teas for 250 men, and also the occasional fried supper for sentries on night duty.

And he remembers nearly burning down the barracks when rushing to fry sausage, chips and eggs and leaving the pan unattended.

After being demobbed Mr Shaw farmed with his brother in Denby Dale and put his cooking skills to good use by helping to cook the 1964 Denby Dale Pie.

He then worked in the building industry, before setting up his own haulage firm in 1972. He ran it for 30 years.

Mr Shaw is continuing to put his cooking talents to good use, by preparing meals for himself and his wife, following a work accident which led to him taking early retirement.

* The National Service Returns exhibition at Red House Museum runs until Sunday, November 9.

* Do you have National Service memories to share? Contact us by fax on 01484 437789, email on or by post at Newsdesk, Huddersfield Examiner, Queen Street South, Huddersfield HD1 2TD.