Two photos showing the early-war uniforms worn by Air Raid Wardens. The female warden is wearing the wrapover coat (with ARP badge and area marking) with the felt hat. She is holding a white helmet (so holds some seniority). The male warden is wearing the bluette overalls with ARP badge and area marking and has the standard issue black helmet. Alas no more information on where these photos were taken.
An early world war two local authority area marking for use on bluette overalls. This red on black variety was superseded by the old gold yellow from the end of 1941. A very nice condition badge that's currently up for sale on eBay with an original embroidered CD beret badge,
A group photo showing three ARP ambulance crew (drivers or attendants) in their standard uniform with the ski caps and what appears to be the arched 'LAAS' (London Auxiliary Ambulance Service)insignia. Sat at the front are three nurses with the ARP badge to the front of their uniforms. It appears that the nurses also have the LAAS emblem above the ARP insignia, if this is correct this is the first time I have seen this worn in this way. I did not know nurses were attached directly to the LAAS.
The photo is currently available on eBay.
Up on eBay is a collection of CD items. Included are some printed rank chevrons (that look unused), warden shoulder titles and the CD badge made specifically for the gabardine coat. A nice collection.
A collection of badges and paperwork has been listed on eBay for an ARP Messenger in Ealing. The bundle includes a number of badges for the battledress blouse but also a rare identity card for the messenger service.
An interesting piece of paper ephemera is this volunteer enrolment form from the West Suffolk region.
Here's a montage of a Cardiff Corporation ambulance and interior probably made for a magazine editorial. If you know more about the vehicle shown please let me know.
Following on from the small leather matchbook cover with ARP logo, Steve Crookes was kind enough to share this image on the Facebook page for this site. Now I'm wondering how many other 'novelty' items were made...
When a business did not want to go to the expense of having a badge made with their own company name on they could purchase generic badges. The one below is such an example. I have seen the identical badge with 'Factory' written on it. The same design could be used but with a company name; this design is known to have been used by Rowntree amongst others.
A nice group study of the ARP County Control staff for the Holland area in southeast Lincolnshire. Probably taken towards the end of the war (or shortly thereafter) going by the five war service chevrons on display. Odd to see all but one in the Pattern 58A austerity battledress. Perhaps they managed to get hold of battledress from stock for the photo opportunity. One chap sat in the front (the only man not in Pattern 58A) has the late war CD beret badge. There does appear to be some sort of insignia on the base of the epaulettes of a few members - I am uncertain what that might be at this time.
Photo courtesy of Phil Marris whose great uncle, Harold Colquhoun Marris OBE, is sat in the centre and was County Controller.
An interesting ARP warden's helmet from Post 30 in Wimbledon. The basic Mk II helmet with a large sized 1939 helmet liner. It features hand painted 'W' to front and rear in a different font to that usually seen.. Owner's details have been written on the inside rim.
With the likelihood of an air raid cutting off the electric and gas supplies there was a need for other forms of light. This Float-A-Lite was a small wick and floating cap that would provide a little light (a imagine very little). The instructions are interesting - it could be placed in an egg cup, a port glass or tumbler...
This interesting helmet recently cropped up on an online auction site. Quite rare to see a white helmet with black band variety.
An interesting piece of Wardens' Service ephemera is this pressed cardboard identification card. Possibly attached to the owner's keys this was an additional form of identification if injured during duty.
This ARP-branded item recently appeared on eBay. I'd not seen this particular piece before but it ties into a few other ARP-related items I've seen such as an ashtray featuring the ARP logo.
A nice shot of two members of the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) aiding a stretcher case. The LAAS shoulder title can be seen cleanly on the coat.
An interesting original message form showing the times of various raids. The colour coding used can be found here and here.
A group portrait, probably taken when the Civil Defence Service was disbanded in May 1945, of Wardens in the Framlingham area of Suffolk. Third from left on the middle row is Thomas Britton who was a Section Controller, Head Warden and Local Anti-Gas Instructor (he appears to have his instructor's badge on the flap of his right breast pocket).
Photo courtesy of Jon Bailey.
A somewhat rare sign for a Wardens' Post. Not very many have the Civil Defence added. I believe this to be a wartime dated sign but cannot 100% be certain.
A very interesting bespoke cap badge for the rescue service in Reading.
The Girl Guides (and also the Brownies) were heavily involved in assisting with the war effort. From 1938 the group planned how it could assist in the event of war breaking out. During the war Girl Guides assisted at First Aid Posts and Rest Centres. helping evacuees and also as messengers at ARP posts. From December 1940 Girl Guides were able to wear the Civil Defence armband when engaged on voluntary support of the service or WVS.
I am indebted to Karen Wiles for the following images - learn more at Doing Their Bit.
This group portrait (currently on eBay) shows a number of ARP/CD personnel and a boy scout. The lady sat in the centre at the bottom is most interesting. She is wearing the standard issue Pattern 71 tunic with a beret (not usually seen). Her insignia is very interesting: she is wearing an instructor's badge on her collar, a St John qualification on her right breast pocket and it would appear she also has the Life Saving badge on her lower left forearm (a most unusual place for this badge). Given her central position she is probably the most senior person in the group.
The gentleman next to her has five war service chevrons so this dates the photo towards the end of the war. His breast pocket badge is the red on black ARP type (rather then the more usual yellow on black CD version).
The majority of the other ladies have the Pattern 47 wrapover with red lined collars. They also are wearing the felt hat.
One of the lesser seen helmet markings is that related to decontamination of food stores following a chemical attack. An immense amount of preparation went into dealing with expected chemical/poison weapon attacks. Decontamination Squads were to deal directly with the chemical weapons but aside from them specialists were trained to provide direct support in managing food stocks that may have been affected. Another part of the system was the Food Analyst who had the rather unfortunate helmet marking of "FOOD ANAL". I don't have much information about the photo and cannot ascertain for sure it is an original wartime photograph.
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