Following an air raid, casualties in bombed buildings could be trapped beneath the rubble. If they were able to make a tapping sound then the Rescue Squads could endeavour to find and extricate them. Heavy Rescue Squads would look to ensure the buildings had been rendered safe to enter (by shoring walls etc) and the Light Rescue would tunnel through to the casualties, carry them out and pass them onto the first aid posts or to a hospital.
To assist in locating buried casualties, a Sound Locating Apparatus was devised in early 1942 to assist the Rescue Squads. This consisted of a truck with a crew of three which would be called from its base located at Metropolitan Electric Supply Company in Uxbridge.
Called out by a Borough’s ARP Controller, the truck would arrive at the incident and set up various listening devices at a bombed building. The operator would require all other rescue work to cease for at least 10 minutes as they listened for any noise. From records, it appears not every rescue team was happy to stop their work to allow this.
The success of the Sound Locating Apparatus appears to have been quite limited. In some incidents, the locating apparatus could not be deployed for several reasons. In some cases, the Civil Defence rescue dogs had already suggested where a casualty had been buried (in one particular case, this turned out to be a buried cat). In quite a number of cases the results were negative, as no casualties were present.
A Ministry of Home Security report in January 1945, commented that the Sound Locating Apparatus “…cannot be regarded as a valuable aid to rescue work.”
Thanks go to Chris Ransted for the information.
The Services Watch Company was a budget-priced watch supplier based in Leicester which supplied watches bearing a number of brand names. The watches contained no jewels or were part-jewelled pin-lever watches which precluded them from being offered to the armed services.
All the watches sold by Services were assembled on the continent, mainly it seems at German and Swiss factories. The watches retailed for 12 shillings and 6 pence (12/6). The dials feature “Foreign Made” as a result.
The “Transport” models were made for Services from the mid-1930s, and initially marketed at truck drivers. The watches featured a larger than normal case, a strong luminous dial for visibility and were robust enough to be somewhat shockproof. Watches were supplied with two straps, one for wearing on the wrist and a longer one for wear over a glove or sleeve (see advert).
The “Transport” watch faces incorporated various terms like “A.R.P.”, “Despatch Rider” and aeronautical terms as a marketing gimmick to drive sales.
ARP metal bumper mascots are quite scarce (don't confuse the below with the plethora of fake plaques on the market) and command good prices when they appear. The below has an auction estimate of £100 to £150. The example shown below has the maker's mark of " Richardson Middlesbrough" to the reverse.
A Lucas-made bicycle lamp with hooded light with an uncommon style of clamp attachment. Most bicycles of the period had a lamp holder on the front of the bike onto which a lamp could be slid on. For bikes without this, the below Lucas lamp has an integral clamp for fixing to the bike's frame.
A large number of the lamps that attached to helmets date from the post war period. They are often boxed and have a red and black twisted cord. They are labeled as "LAMP SPOT ELECTRIC WITH HELMET CLIP". The below is I believe a wartime dated example and includes on the box "SHRAPNEL HELMET LAMP" and has a plain black cord connecting the lamp to the battery.
Very few period photos show the lamp being worn; though there is one of a Lewisham volunteer.
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