A group of civil defence personnel and civilians that may be from the Norfolk area. A nice portrait but I wonder what the gentleman on the far left is keeping on the chain in the bandage pocket of his battledress trousers...
An informative disk that allowed the user to determine a host of potential war gases. Spin the various disks depending on the properties and you get to the gas.
A very interesting book is currently up for auction on eBay. The Warden's Manual by S. (for Samuel) Evelyn Thomas looks to be jam-packed with interesting detail. It's a book I have not seen before, but I came across the author's name whilst researching at Hackney's archives. He was a very active member of the ARP and wrote a number of books about the service including "A Practical Guide To A.R.P.".
A group of junior rank Civil Defence personnel pose for a group photo. Alas, I cannot make out the area marking.
Thought to be in Warwick, these photos show the local ARP/Civil Defence personnel on parade. Going by the uniforms one appears to be a summer shot and the other in the winter.
In the late 1930s a number of cigarette manufacturers (such as Ogden's, Churchman's and Wills) used a similar set of 50 cards in their cigarette packets; Churchman's were of a slightly larger size than Wills or Ogden's. The set included information about home protection, dealing with incendiary devices and the various military equipment that might be used against enemy bombers, some of it antiquated even when issued.
I've scanned my copy and added a download link below - it's a large file - 40MB - but good quality.
I've previously blogged about a badge for the St. Paul's Watch but came across this excellent post all about the fire-watchers that volunteered at the cathedral during the war. It gives a very detailed account of the duties involved and is well worth reading.
The St. Paul’s Watch at A London Inheritance
Image © The Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral
The gas mask made especially for babies and infants up to the age of two was developed in 1938. It covered the majority of the child and required someone to use the manual pump on the side to activate the filter. Sometimes called a 'baby helmet', the lower canvas section that tied around the child was rubberised to prevent poison gas seeping into the interior. Various bodies demonstrated the use of this gas mask to ensure parents knew exactly how to use the gas mask in an emergency. Also manufactured was a gas-proof pram.
British Pathé also made a short film about the gas masks.
A fantastic shot of Trafalgar Square with a sign pointing to the air raid shelter on the north side of the square - this could hold 800 people. The sign has been placed on the boarded-up building that is protecting the equestrian statue of Charles I.
Probably early in the war, this photo shows dignitaries being shown around the Marconi Wireless New Street factory in Chelmsford, Essex (possibly this factory). The helmet and armband markings are specific to this factory's ARP team. The gentleman on the far right has an armband that features MW and TC (combined) - Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company - and CONTROL added to it. A previous MW armband appeared at auction and can be seen on this blog post.
Additional research provided by members of the WW2 Civil Defence Re-enactors FB page.
A wonderful photo of a large group of CD personnel raising their helmets at a parade. Towards the right are members of London's Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS).
A rescue squad gather around a rescued dog they have pulled from the rubble of a blitzed house. Of interest in the party leader in the white helmet to the right. He is wearing the standard bluette overalls and has both the ARP breast badge and the 'R London' badge on his pocket. Not many photos show both these badges being worn.
Probably taken earlier in the war by the use of W on their helmets rather than DC, this photo is from the Worcester area. Alas there's little more information about what is happening but it it a good reference photo of the gas clothing issued to those who were to deal with chemical weapons.
Source: Changing Faces of Worcester
Up on eBay now is a very nice original Civil Defence beret. It's the type with no inner headband. It's made by the British Beret Basque Ltd and was introduced in late 1941 (along with the other battledress and serge uniforms). These are getting extremely hard to find and a size large is perfect for the modern day re-enactor.
UPDATE: This may actually be a post-war example as it does not have the correct ARP pattern number printed inside but has a CD plus something else missing. There is a chance the 4 was originally a 5.
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