WW2 Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Redhill scoop for dealing with German incendiary bombs. This long wooden-handled scoop was used for shovelling sand onto an ignited incendiary bomb to douse it or to poke incendiary devices off gutters and roofs. The scoop here has been painted black but were initially sold in bare metal. It sometimes also came with a rake/hoe that could allow burning fragments to be collected in the scoop and then put in a fire bucket of sand. See the cigarette cards below that show how this was intended to be used.
Whilst I was at a boot fair in Abergavenny, a dealer in militaria showed me what he said was an ARP miner's lamp made by Hailwood & Ackroyd that had blue glass fitted. He said that these were manufactured during the war and placed on gas leaks during air raids. The blue glass stopped them being seen from altitude.
"The Air Raids Precaution Department of the Home Office discovered in the tests carried out at Bedford that Aircraft flying at 2,000 feet cannot spot dime blue lights", Flyer Magazine.
I checked this up online and indeed a couple of sites mentioned this information. The site said that over 100,000 such lamps were offered for sale during the war at 3/6d. Some had red glass. I was initially sceptical of this until I found more about them online. There is allegedly an advertisement for this lamp from the war and I would be most interested to see it.
A interesting hooded torch built especially for ARP personnel.
One of the duties of an air raid warden was to ensure everyone in his area od responsibility both had and knew how to use their gas mask.
Six photographs showing how to deal with an incendiary device using a Redhill scoop and a container,
This interesting image (claimed to be from 1940) shows a number of sirens that can fixed to the door of a motor vehicle. Given that the majority of city and town's had a central air raid warning service I am not entirely certain to whom these devices were issued. The siren may have been used as an emergency vehicle siren.
The Civil Defence battledress trousers came with a small pocket on the front right that could take a small a First Field Dressing. This is the only size bandage that would fit in this pocket.
This interesting post card shows a bed-type air raid shelter. It would appear that the shelter is made of metal and would protect the occupants should the roof collapse. It's a bit like an indoor Andserson shelter.
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.
Issued to every warden and stored at wardens' posts, the gas rattle was to be used to inform the public that a gas bomb had gone off. Gas bombs would be of three 'poison' possible types - true gases (e.g. phosgene), vapours (mustard) and smokes (certain arsenicals). Thankfully, no rattle was ever called upon to be used.
All respirators, including the civilian mask issued to the general public, were equipped to deal with all three types. The activated carbon of the large container handled the true gases and the vapours, whilst the "contex", a particulate filter, coped with the smoke poisons.
An interesting 78 RPM record that has the two main siren noises - "Action Alert" and "Raiders Passed". The record was possibly used by factories to play over the Tannoy or may be a post-war record with sound effects for theatre plays etc.
A most unusual and rare light box that was affixed to the outside of an ARP Report & Control Centre. The glass front could be opened and a paraffin lamp inserted to illuminate the sign.
This small Bakerlite light bulb shield screwed over the light bulb to reduce the amount of light. A small amount of light would be directed straight down. I imagine it's probably next to useless.
Various suppliers manufactured first aid bags. This one was by Paragon and included a good selection of ointments and bandages for first responders at air raid incidents.
The carrying and storage of personal gas masks (respirators) became any everyday occurrence for everyone in the early part of the war. The early cardboard carry boxes soon fell apart and a number of manufacturers produced a variety of boxes and bags. The below is a container for the home.
Note: I have been informed that tins similar to the one pictured were produced by Elkes and originally came full of biscuits.
Another item produced during the war. A persons name and other details could be inscribed on the identification bracelet.
During the war many items of equipment were manufactured for the general population to purchase. These Broadsight Googles are claimed to be useful when fighting incendiary fires as they will dim the burning part of the incendiary.
Photo form Caring on the Home Front.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.