ARP fire fighter's goggles which have blue tinted lenses and are GR and crown marked.
During the second world war the Royal Life Saving Society offered training to civilians in first aid and artificial respiration. Those who were members of the Civil Defence service were entitled to wear the society's woven 2" x 2" red on dark navy blue badge on their right breast pocket of battledress and the Pattern 71 tunic. There was a separate oxidised metal badge that could be worn on civilian clothing (though at least one photo shows a full colour enamel badge being worn on bluette overalls early in the war).
The most interesting photo and description shows the destruction of street level air raid shelters. Dated April 1945 it shows that by this late stage of the war there was no longer any threat from the Luftwaffe or V-weapons (obviously the remaining airfields were way inside Germany and the range of V2s (about 200 miles) could no longer reach the UK).
Of all the civil defence services, the Fire Guard was to have the most members during the second world war. Compulsory registration was brought in during 1943 and hundreds of thousands of people were required to join Fire Guard parties. The below is an example of a training notification. Read a short history of the Fire Guard
This helmet is currently for sale on eBay (at time of writing bids had already exceeded £175). The seller claims that it is a first world war vintage helmet that was reissued in the second world war. It has 1938 dated chin strap lugs.
Derry & Toms was a London department store on Kensington High Street founded in 1853. It was renown for its roof garden. It closed in 1973 and the building was subsequently developed into smaller retail spaces and office space.
Derry & Toms is also Cockney rhyming slang do bombs, as in "A Tom dropped on my house..."
This photo was sent to my Facebook page and shows a group of rescue workers lined up in front of their vehicle. It's thought this may be from the Derbyshire area. The car is probably a pre-war American import that has been requisitioned by the local authority and converted for the use by a rescue squad (there's a ladder and stretchers on the roof). Unsure what the make of the car is - some think a Packard and others have said an Auburn.
A very interesting air raid warden's authority card cropped up on eBay recently. For the City of Birmingham and dated in 1940 it is for a Mrs. B. F. Jones who was the Lady Deputy Group Warden.
I am indebted to a visitor of this website for allowing me to share the following marvellous photos. They include his mother, Kathie Noble, who was an ambulance driver for the Civil Defence service in Sheffield during the war. She was stationed at Corporation Street but they also used Pye Bank School Yard. On one particular evening of a blitz on Sheffield her ambulance was stopped from attending an incident as it was going to an area from where she lived. I have previously included a photo from Sheffield that included Kathie Noble. She is on the far right in that photo.
Preparations for the possible evacuation of children from areas likely to be bombed started in 1938. After September 1939, children who had been previously registered for evacuation were gathered at schools and transported to stations for onward travel to their destinations. Staff employed by the London County Council to assist the evacuees would where armbands like below.
Consisting of a green cotton section with white tapes with tying together on the upper arm. Printed with L.C.C. & EVAC. it has a further number added, probably by the person it was originally issued to. The coat of arms is for London County Council. It is described as "Barry wavy of six azure and argent, on a Chief of the last the cross of St George charged with a lion of England, the shield ensigned with a Mural Crown gold". The blue and silver waves represented the River Thames and the Port of London. The English lion on a St George's cross was to show that London was the "Royal centre of England", encompassing the nation's capital city. The gold mural crown indicated that the arms were those of a municipal body.
Send me items to blog about via my contact page