I picked up this ex-public library book entitled "The Lord Mayor's National Air Raid Distress Fund" on eBay recently. Published in the mid-1950s it details how the fund was organised and how it disbursed the funds it collected. Of interest is the total amount of donations received - £4,980,223 - from across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world during and shortly after the war.
If you were to take 1945 as the year to do a comparison on the fund's value you get a figure just over £275 million. Just goes to show the generosity of folks back then.
Portrait of a member of the Mobile Reserve from West Sussex. The Mobile Reserve was created early in the war to provide a rapid response convoy to attend at incidents. It was copied elsewhere as the Regional Columns in the 12 Civil Defence regions. The badge features "W.S." & "C.C." (West Sussex County Council), the county emblem (six martlets or heraldic swallows on a shield) and "MOBILE RESERVE".
The photo along, with another of the same gentleman, is currently on eBay.
Colour film from Sevenoaks shows what looks like a stand down parade with various members of the CD and First Aid shown. Of particular interest is the gentlemen shown below.
He appears to be wearing an austerity pattern battledress with Sevenoaks area title. On his sleeve are three narrow bars for a Divisional / District Warden, but I think the shoulder title may be "Report & Control".
He also has Home Guard sergeant's stripes (other CD members in the film are shown wearing single and double Home Guard rank chevrons on their sleeves) and a red diamond with small bar below Home Guard Proficiency Badge on his lower left sleeve. The HG proficiency badge was initially worn on the lower right sleeve until moved after May/June 1944 so War Service Chevrons could be worn in that position.
There is also something on his epaulettes, probably slip on HG (Home Guard) tabs. The Home Guard had been stood down at the end of 1944.
Extremely rare to see this combination especially in a colour film. View the film on Screen Archive South East and the gentlemen in question appears at the 15:20 mark.
Thanks to Nick Wall for the information on the Home Guard insignia.
If you visit car boot sales and see tools in boxes make sure to have a rummage as now and again you may come across a spanner used for the erection of Anderson shelters. Various companies made the shelters and so there are a number of differently-marked spanners out there. Below are six different ½ W (half inch Whitworth) spanners used for the bolts in Anderson shelters (½ W equals a 9/16 British Standard).
Photo Christopher Reynolds (Blacked Out Britain)
Armbands (or armlets) are avidly collected and rarer examples often reach high amounts. This Rest Centre Officer armband recently fetched just over £160 on eBay. Rest centres were utilised post war as well, such as after major disasters and during poor weather conditions, so I am unsure whether this is categorically a second world war armband.
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