This 1946 certificate was issued to members of the Central Hospital Supply Service (a function within the War Organisation of the British Red Cross and Order of St. John) that had undertaken over 100 hours of service. The certificate came with a letter of thanks and details the service undertaken.
A number of periodicals were published aimed at members of the Civil Defence Service. The below periodical was the ARP & AFS Review which included articles both about ARP matters as well as fire fighting.
The majority of wardens were issued with a warrant card. Some members of the Civil Defence Services had a special National Registration ID Card with an additional space to record their employment with a particular service. The below is a standard card issued during the war that included the name and address of the bearer. It also has the original holder's silver ARP badge.
A 1939 Burn Brothers advert for their "Special Air, Gas and Water-Tight Cover and Frame"
From Hansard, 11 September 1941, this is the response of the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, regarding the change of name:
Mr. Noel-Baker asked the Home Secretary whether he will indicate the reasons for the changes in the title of the Civil Defence services and the consequential alterations in the uniform badges?
Mr. H. Morrison - The change in title from Air-Raid Precautions to Civil Defence was decided upon in order to mark the developments which have taken place, and to emphasise the growth and increased importance of the services and their essential unity with other branches of civil defence. Moreover, while "Air-Raid Precautions" may have been an appropriate term in the days of pre-war preparations, it is, in my judgment, neither dignified nor stimulating enough for the splendid body of men and women who have rendered active and heroic service in the face of fierce enemy attack. The Civil Defence badge will be supplied on new uniforms as production changes can be introduced. Separate Civil Defence badges are not being supplied in replacement of existing A.R.P. badges.
In 2010 the Royal Mail released a series of stamps entitled "Britain Alone". Amongst them was the often seen photo of an Air Raid Warden from Kingston setting the black-out time on the board outside his post. The ties of each days black-out would be printed in the day's newspaper (one hour after sunset and one hour before sun-rise)
An interesting advert for an ARP shelter in the 1938 December issue of the Illustrated Carpenter & Builder. Following the Munich Crisis a number of businesses saw the writing on the wall and the looming threat of another war.
As the war clouds gathered in the late 1930s some people began to see the likelihood of a war with Germany growing. Some decided to undertake ARP qualifications and start preparing for the war ahead. This certificate for Hilda Baldock shows she qualified as an Air Raid Warden in early May of 1939.
Some Things You Should Know If War Should Come - Civil Defence Public Information Leaflet No. 1, 1939
One of several leaflets sent out just prior to the start of the second world war.
An interesting leaflet issued to most holes in October 1939 advising the home owner how to ensure that if a bomb landed nearby how they could avoid injury.
As the dark clouds of war drew closer towards the end of 1939, the HMSO produced the pamphlet "AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS FOR ANIMALS". It was a guide to looking after pets during raids. On the back of the pamphlet was an advert for the CASH Captive Bolt gun. Used by vets to kill animals. Prior to and in the beginning months of the war it is estimated over 7500,00 were killed by pet owners.
With the outbreak of war in September '39, a large number of men and women volunteered to join the ARP and CD services. To become a warden, a person would have to attend classes and those successfully completing the course would be given a certificate like the one below.
An interesting piece of ephemera for the the Borough of Ilford. This ticket gave the bearer the right of access and a bunk in an ARP shelter.
An interesting document showing the mid-war Fire Guard Plan for Southampton.
Many different companies produced ARP equipment for sale to the general public as well as businesses. Siebe, Gorman & Co Ltd manufactured nearly everything that could be wanted. The below advert appeared in the booklet "Air Raid Precautions - What to Do In An Emergency" (at the princely sum of 6d). The advert shows the main respirators (gas masks) then available.
A file from the National Archives details the process of adopting the early uniforms: Women Warden's Coat (Pattern 42), the bluette combination suit (Pattern 41) for men and the Woman Driver's (and Attendant's) coat (Pattern 43) and the hats (Patterns 44 & 45) The below image was in the files to give an overview of their look.
An interesting two-sided pamphlet providing information to people bombed out during the second world war.
An interesting document allowing the named person access to an air raid shelter at Waterloo Station in London.
An interesting page from the files at the National Archives shows that when the new serge uniforms (battledress) was introduced in 1941 it was issued to orderlies on Casualty Evacuation Trains. They previously had insignia with 'HT' for Hospital Train but this was changed to the 'CET' badge shown in the group of badges that sold at auction. Must be a very scarce badge.
A lot of thought and effort went into creating the badges worn by Civil Defence Services in WW2. The initial colour of red badges was thought to be too closely aligned with the fire services and so the gold and blue badges were created when the new serge uniforms were issued in the autumn of 1941.
There were many discussions about prospective badges and the design below was for a metal ARP cal badge. Similar in many ways to the RAF badge this would have been affixed with two lugs and a split pin. However, due to reasons of economy and the fact that the new service was to be known as the Civil Defence Services this particular badge was created.
An interesting piece of info in the Badges of Rank files at the National Archives is that there were four different manufacturing options considered for badges in October 1941: Embroidered, Calico Printed, Woven & Screen Printed.
All types were available at the same time. It was a decision to go with embroidered for the first batch but as more and more badges were needed the printed variety was ordered.
Each had merits and demerits - Embroidered looked better and could put up with wear and tear better; CPA (Calico Printers Association) was cheap but frayed. Woven was quick to produce. Screen Printed very fast production but faded.
As interesting two-page note about the necessity to continue production during air raids. Initially, as intruder aircraft flew towards their targets, sirens would sound and all production would cease as employees heeded to the shelters. This would cause immense loss of production. To tackle the issue, the Department for Home Security issued this pamphlet advising on measures to mitigate against always sending people to the shelters.
As the Civil Defence services developed in the early years of the war there was a need to build a coherent ranking structure. The below images detail how the various ranks were instituted and the how these ranks were to be denoted on the serge battledress and ladies uniforms released in the autumn of 1941.
This document from the National Archives details the cost of the basic uniform for both men and women in the civil defence services. The cost of £4 in 1943 is roughly £180 in 2018.
The below circular details that when the bomb reconnaissance courses were being introduced by the Ministry of Home Security is was decided that only men could attend.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.