An interesting photograph showing the band of the Welsh Guards atop an air raid shelter. They are playing to an audience outside the Bank of England, London, during a ward bonds drive,
One of the series of posters used to recruit ARP personnel prior to the outbreak of war. This poster was designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer, an American who spent a large part of his career in the UK between the wars. A renowned poster designer, Kauffer may be best remembered for the 140 posters he designed for London Underground and London Transport. The posters span many styles: many show abstract influences, including futurism, cubism, and vorticism; others evoke impressionist influences. He returned to New York City in 1940 and died in 1954.
A large selection of ephemera relating to the ARP and Civil Defence has cropped up on eBay. Amongst the various booklets, cigarette cards and other items was this poster about "Cleansing Facilities for ARP Services". It shows the generic layout of a cleansing station as well as a reminder to personnel how to prepare for duty
A number of recruitment posters were published pre-war and during the war seeking people to join the Wardens' Service. Here's one of my favourite posters.
Finally, after reading through copious amounts of records I believe I have finally resolved one the long standing issues about the silver ARP badge. The C- and D-dated badges have a maker mark of "J.C." in a lozenge with snipped top corners.
Across the web and also on some silversmith websites this is incorrectly identified as Jacques Cartier (which is utter toshas their hallmark looks nothing like those on the ARP badge).
I recently got hold of a file from the National Archives which detailed that 'J.C.' was in fact a Royal Mint mark. I then emailed the Goldsmiths' library in London and they sent through the details of the mark being registered to a certain John Herbert McCutcheon Craig (first and last initial 'J.C.'). He was the Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Royal Mint from 1938.
On the silver ARP badges that were manufactured in 1936 and 1937 the hallmark is 'R.J.' which was for Sir Robert Arthur Johnson the former Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Royal Mint who died in January 1938.
An excellent portrait of an early-war Gas Identification Officer - GIO - designated by two black diamonds on a yellow helmet. One black diamond was for an assistant to the GIO. Three black diamonds were for Senior Gas Adviser. From 1942 helmets were standardized across the country:
Gas Adviser - Senior Gas Adviser
GIO - Gas Identification Officer
GI - Assistant to GIO
FOOD - Food Decontamination Officer
DC FOOD - Food Treatment Squad
Throughout 1938 and into 1939 the numbers of people joining the Wardens’ Service rose slowly. Following the outbreak of war there was another burst of people joining and a number of senior positions within the Wardens’ Service were paid a full-time salary. However, 90% of wardens were part-timers and one-in-six wardens were women. The vast majority were middle-aged or elderly.
As the Phoney War dragged on the number of volunteers dipped. With the call for recruitment into the Home Guard in the spring of 1940 many men resigned. By the time the Blitz started in the summer of 1940 full-time ARP personnel were being paid £3 and 5 shillings (£3 5s.) per week; women received £2, 3 shillings and 6 pence (£2 3s. 6d.) Part-time members would have their normal employment salary topped up with a few extra shillings per week. No overtime was paid. Full-time ARP personnel received 12 days’ annual holiday and three weeks sick pay.
London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) driver and attendant with their Talbot ambulance in 1939. The LAAS was created to support the existing London Ambulance Service (LAS) dealing with the expected casualties of air raids on London. Whilst the LAS was organised by the London County Council (LCC), the LAAS was managed by individual ambulance stations.
Image Copyright: London Metropolitan Archive
This original Incident Officer (I.O.) sleeve badge cropped up on eBay recently. Is pretty good condition, the thread colour - Cambridge blue - is more easily identified on the rear of the badge here. Examples are getting somewhat scare and this example sold on eBay for £34.
To ensure that communications could still be maintained during a gas attack, telephone operators were issued with specially adapted gas masks. A microphone was fixed close to the filter and an integral headset was included that would be plugged into the normal telephone exchange board.
A most evocative photo of children done up as wardens and a nurse. A cracking photo.
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