Being a miner for two years was National Service, at a time when men were needed to augment the shortage of miners during the period when Britain was desperate for coal. Most Bevin Boys were chosen at random.
When you became 18 it was either the pits or the army.
The families of those killed in mining accidents received no compensation, and those invalided out because of injury received no pension.
Having witnessed miners working the coal faces during press visits to Bilston Glen and Monktonhall, I regard myself as having been lucky to spend my two years at RAF Kai Tak, Hong Kong.