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.
A most interesting document I had not seen before. This single sided sheet details exactly who can wear the ARP badge and what happens in case of lose etc.
An interesting lot of insignia and letters is currently up on eBay. The grouping consists of a 'BRADFIELD R.D." area title, war service chevrons, CD breast badge, silver ARP lapel badge and two letters sent at the war's end.
A poster advising people about where they can shelter with their dog if caught out in a raid.
A chart detailing how Bexhill's ARP Scheme was organised during WW2. It clearly shows how complex the whole system was. Image Bexhill Museum Trust.
This form was to be used by Gas Identification Officers (GIO) to report on the dropping of chemical and gas weapons. Thankfully, it was never called upon to be used.
An interesting pair of qualification certificates for a husband and wife in the Bristol area. Both had undertaken the training prior to the war and the lady had completed hers in October 1938.
An interesting certificate for a Mrs Winifred Peachey from Brize Norton. She has successfully passed the Instructor course for Local Air Raid Precautions Training and could now impart that knowledge to others. You don't see many ladies wearing the LARP badge and the certificate has 'him' struck out and 'her' inserted in its place.
Here's wishing you and your families a very happy Christmas and the very best for the year ahead. And a special thank you to everyone that sent me an ARP-related photo or message during the year.
At air raid incidents and when reporting activity wardens would use ARP Form M1. When reports had been successfully sent through to the Report / Control Centres they would utilise ARP Form M2 (shown below). It was similar in many ways but should a number of M1s have been received about a similar incident it was the M2 that then took precedence.
Local authorities issued hundreds if leaflets and notices to educate people about staying safe after an air raid. The primary concern was to alleviate pressure on the health surfaces by ensuring people did not fall unnecessarily ill from something that could be easily avoided. This notice advises on how to purify water following an air raid.
An information leaflet to be kept with the gas mask. Includes details on the various sirens, rattles, whistles and hand bells used by wardens.
In London (and other cities) many people lived in properties that required shelters to be built to accommodate them. To ensure that the correct person gained access a ticketing system was introduced. This Shelter Ticket for the London Civil Defence Region is one such item.
Of all the biographies written by wardens during the war, a couple continue to stand out to this day. One such tome is Barbara Nixon's "Raiders Overhead". Nixon's account of the Blitz in London, first published in 1943, is a compelling read and history of the times and how the ARP and Civil Defence Service worked. Well worth getting hold of a copy if you can. For more recommendations, see the resources section.
This interesting leaflet details the most widely offered ARP equipment available to the general public. The leaflet comes from the Lowestoft department store R. J. Pryce & Co on Suffolk Road (later Godfreys and now Kerrys). Reproduced by kind permission of the website Old Lowestoft.
An interesting card for a lady doing compulsory Fire Guard duty.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.