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 Traflagar Square with a sign pointing to the air raid shelter on the north side of the square - this could hold 800 people. The boarded up building contains 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.
Whilst most Anderson shelters were dug into a spot in the garden this particular shelter appears to have received a tad more attention than usually seen...
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.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.