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.
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.
An interesting original message form showing the times of various raids. The colour coding used can be found here and here.
Much as ARP Wardens were issued with an appointment/warrant card, Fire Guards were also issued with identity cards to allow them access to buildings. This one is for the Borough of Wembley in north London.
This ARP Pattern 57 battledress jacket and warrant card cropped up on eBay recently (with a price of £160). It's the first time I have seen a double area marking - one for the county of Staffordshire and one for the local area of Rowley Regis (southeast of Dudley). Very unusual to see the Rowley Regis badge sewn to the upper flap of the breast pocket. The CD breast badge appears to be the merrow edge variety that was attached to the jacket when made. The rank stripes don't appear to be the usual WW2 variety and look a bit like those that the Civil Defence Corps issued from 1948. Again, they may be original but hard to say. Oddly the lanyard is white - I would have again expected it to be yellow for Staffordshire. It appears that a metal Police type chain in connecting the whistle to the lanyard. The jacket also features four war service chevrons.
An appointment card for a warden in the County of Derby. Quite a simple card with the most basic information required.
The most common air raid whistle found is the J. Hudson whistle that has "A.R.P." engraved on it. Also manufactured during the war was the Adie Bros. (Brothers) version that appeared in 1941, identical in design to the Hudson one. This company, also based in Birmingham, had previous government contracts for whistles and many appeared with the Ministry of Defence broad arrow - crows foot mark /|\ - and some with a year date.
In 1941 Adie Bros. received a contract for 40,000 ARP whistles (previously it appears that just Hudson has been manufacturing ARP whistles). Hudson's received a contract at the same time for 60,000. The reason for so many was that a change in how the alarm for the fall of incendiary bombs was to be made. Short blasts would indicate incendiaries. At this time whistles were now issued to all reserve wardens and fire guards/ fire watchers. Oddly, Supplementary Fire Parties did not get them. The Adie ARP whistle features the maker's name (ADIE BROS), city (BIRMINGHAM), royal cipher (GR VI) and year (1941). The 1941 ARP whistle omitted the MoD broad arrow as the contract came through the Ministry of Works & Buildings.
Read more about the history of ARP whistles
Here's an Air Raid warden appointment card from one of the rarer areas of the UK - the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen in Scotland.
An interesting poster that shows the general layout requirements for an ARP cleansing depot.
A rather straightforward appointment card for warden's in the Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith. Other area had more detail but this one has probably the shortest text I have come across. There appears to have been no standard appointment card design and councils and local authorities were free to design them as they please.
There's not a great deal of information about the Women's Auxiliary Wardens Service. There are some badges in the Northampton area that feature the service. This document shows that in 1942 (12 August) the WAWS was rolled into the main Wardens' Service. It would be very interesting to learn more about the origin of the WAWS.
I am indebted to Alan Piddington for sharing some information from a book called "The Diary of an ARP Warden" by EJ Carter of Waltham Abbey. The book contains a series of excellent photographs from the latter half of the war. The below photo shows a rarely photographed mobile incident control post.
A Department of Home Security pamphlet from 1941 advising wardens on how to manage the public in the event of an invasion.
An identification card for a Supplementary Fire Guard within the Urban District of Chadderton in Lancashire.
An interesting piece of document ephemera is this ID card for the Ambulance Transport Services in Cardiff.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's a wonderful story of the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service and contains some amazing photographs and incredible detail about the running of the service.
There appears to have been no central design for ARP Warden appointment cards. Each local authority designed their own. Some are very basic, some include much more detail. Below is one for Scarborough.
With the threat of war in the summer of 1939 building, a number of exercises were held to determine the effectiveness of the blackout. Trials like the one below were made across London to ascertain the effectiveness of the warden service to ensure the blackout regulations were followed. RAF aircraft flew over the 'blacked out' areas and reported that a lot of light was to be seen - especially when pub doors were regularly used.
A single page note from the Ministry of Home Security providing updated guidance and information about Fire Guard practice.
An interesting warden's appointment card that appears to have had a photo of the holder attached.
The Lord Mayor's National Air Raid Distress Fund provided for the relief of suffering and distress resulting from enemy air raids in the UK.
It assisted in setting up new homes when the loss of goods and possessions was not covered by Government compensation and where special distress was shown. It also helped small shopkeepers to reestablish their businesses. It made grants towards education, apprenticeships and the general welfare of children who had been deprived by raids of their normal opportunities through being orphaned, or through personal injury or loss sustained by their parents. It provided new clothing (in exchange for coupons). Those in need were requested to apply to their local town hall or council offices.
An interesting ID card from the Louth area of Lincolnshire (part of the Lindsey area). It would appear that the Lindsey area was quite active in the creation of badges during the war as I have and have seen a number with Lindsey on them.
As interesting documents from January 1941 directing the ARP services to adopt a warning system for the dropping of incendiary bombs.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.