An interesting poster for recruiting stretcher parties in the ARP service.
The Lord Mayor's National Air Raid Distress Fund provided for the relief of suffering and distress resulting from enemy air raids in the UK.
It assisted in setting up new homes when the loss of goods and possessions was not covered by Government compensation and where special distress was shown. It also helped small shopkeepers to reestablish their businesses. It made grants towards education, apprenticeships and the general welfare of children who had been deprived by raids of their normal opportunities through being orphaned, or through personal injury or loss sustained by their parents. It provided new clothing (in exchange for coupons). Those in need were requested to apply to their local town hall or council offices.
Another air raid item from Lindsey County Council in Lincolnshire. This armband is for the Air Raid Welfare that would help assist people bombed out of their homes. Lindsey County Council was quite prolific is getting all sorts of badges, armbands and insignia manufactured. Armband is currently on eBay.
A nice study of three home front servicemen - ARP, AFS and Home Guard. The chap on the left wears the standard issue bluette overalls, with an unmarked helmet, red cross armband and what looks to be a first aid satchel of some description.
A very rare London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) First Aid satchel and contents. I've not seen another of these but there must have been quite a few used by the service.
An interesting ID card from the Louth area of Lincolnshire (part of the Lindsey area). It would appear that the Lindsey area was quite active in the creation of badges during the war as I have and have seen a number with Lindsey on them.
I've seen some blue ARP cufflinks previously but this is the first time I have seen them in red. They are chrome and enamel and not silver as there are no hallmarks.
As interesting documents from January 1941 directing the ARP services to adopt a warning system for the dropping of incendiary bombs.
A nabbed this silver ARP badge on eBay for a fiver recently. Though quite unofficial a number of silver makers manufactured these smaller versions of the lapel badge. This example is by Bl,Bs, (Bendall Brothers) and has the Birmingham anchor and silver lion marks. The date letter is an O which corresponds for Birmingham to 1938 and goes to show they were being made very early on.
Read a history of the ARP badge
Very interesting pair of portraits of a member of the Westminister ARP Service. I thought initially she was wearing the bluette overalls but the position of the ARP buttons looks to be two double rows - so I'm thinking the driver's coat. The ARP badge, Westminster area marking and medal ribbon are not usually shown worn on the drivers' coat. I'm unsure of the medal ribbon - they look like the trio for WW1. If anyone can identify those I would be very grateful.
Of interest she seems to be wearing a very similar shirt to that worn by Barbara Nixon.
I recently bought an ARP badge on eBay for a few pounds. It was a brooch fitting "German Silver" version which actually contains no silver, without any maker marks, and was the austerity/economy version that was issued during the earlier part of the war (until it was itself withdrawn). I was surprised to find that the seller had not mentioned that the box was with the badge and when I received it, it was smaller than the boxes I already owned. I'm assuming that the smaller box was the war-time variant.
Read a history of the ARP badge
Two members of the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) carry a dog in an 'Animal Ambulance'. Photo said to be from 1940.
A most interesting document I had not seen before. This single sided sheet details exactly who can wear the ARP badge and what happens in case of lose etc.
A whole host of items bearing both ARP and CD logos were made during the war. There is an identical celluloid matchbox holder with Civil Defence on it. I've come across ARP ashtrays as well.
The Air Raid Defence League was established in February 1939, with an aim to force air raid defence as a national policy. The ARDL was open to all with an annual membership of a shilling. The ARDL sent out a monthly newsletter to members. The badge below was the second badge offered by the group (the first featured a union jack) following the incorporation of the National Association of Air Raid Wardens - the ARW standing for Air Raid Warden. With the outbreak of war the need for the group became unnecessary as air raid defence was then obviously of national importance.
A rather peculiar propaganda photograph showing a warden wearing a home-made rabbit fur waistcoat. Not an item often seen on the re-enacting scene... Looks like the warden has a rare piped side cap with ARP badge on.
A large majority of the ARP Pattern 57 & 59 serge battledress jackets came with the CD breast badge sewn to the left breast pocket. The below image shows an original jacket with the method most commonly used to attach the badge. Individuals in areas that provided area markings could sewn them beneath this badge.
An interesting first aid kit by Paragon that has been specifically created for ARP Wardens' Posts.
Barbara Nixon in 1943. She was one of the first women to be employed as a full-time Air Raid Warden in London. She was also an Instructor (badge on her collar) and Incident Officer (I.O. badge seen on her right sleeve). She was the author of "Raiders Overhead", an invaluable account of the Blitz in London. She is wearing the standard ARP Pattern 71 serge jacket/tunic and a rather snazzy (and unofficial) check shirt.
An interesting lot of insignia and letters is currently up on eBay. The grouping consists of a 'BRADFIELD R.D." area title, war service chevrons, CD breast badge, silver ARP lapel badge and two letters sent at the war's end.
A poster advising people about where they can shelter with their dog if caught out in a raid.
A chart detailing how Bexhill's ARP Scheme was organised during WW2. It clearly shows how complex the whole system was. Image Bexhill Museum Trust.
An interesting photo showing the rescue of a dog. The white helmet on the right is most interesting as he has both the ARP breast badge as well as the 'R London' badge on the pocket of his bluette overalls. The photo is said to be from 1940 which tallies with the overalls and lack of the serge battledress. I currently don't know the exact date that the 'R London' badge was introduced but going by this photo is was quite early in the war.
A very good quality portrait of an air raid warden in the early bluette overalls. The area marking title is for Walthamstow.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.