This remarkable half-hour film was recently shared on the WW2 Civil Defence Re-enactors Facebook page. It's a fantastic film with emphasis on the Messenger Service but it's great for spotting all sorts of insignia and uniform items. Look out for the various ways the 'W' on helmets is painted, look out for Fire Guard armband and sleeve insignia, check out the helmet on the Home Guard, and look at the background posters. Well worth watching.
Watch "The Message Must Get through"
One of those interesting newsreel snippets used to educate the public about various wartime issues. This one is about the need to carry a gas mask at all times. Thankfully the need never arose to use them.
Here's a remarkable piece of colour film footage called Home Defence “Go To It” from 1939. It has been shared by the North West Film Archive on Vimeo. Due to the site's domain restrictions I cannot embed the film but you can view it clicking the link above. It's great for looking at period bluette overalls uniform details and civilian clothing detail.
You can't help but think of Mr Cholmondley-Warner when you watch this newsreel...
An interesting film from 1941 showing Winston Churchill (wittering on with a piss-poor speech it has to be said) and members of various Civil Defence groups - LAAS, Wardens, Stretcher Parties, WVS and firemen. A good reference piece for uniforms and I've grabbed a few of the better close up shots.
This marvellous film from Scotland shows Sir Steven Bilsland inspecting Civil Defence and Home Guard personnel. There are some great shots of uniforms and insignia. Of interest is that both style of helmet markings for senior ranks can be seen - both the early diamonds and later black stripes. There are also good shots of Fire Guards demonstrating how to put out fires.
War Weapons Week 1942 - Wartime Civil Defence inspection
This 1945 film that is free to watch on the BFI site looks at the civil defence services in and around Leatherhead. Covers many of the CD personnel - wardens, rescue, nurses etc. Of interest is the footage inside a wardens' post. There is a Head Warden (white helmet with single black stripe who has Home Guard titles below his Warden shoulder title. Not often seen.
Watch Civilians in Uniform
Here is an interesting short film from British Pathé about identifying and staying away from German butterfly bombs. These antipersonnel bombs could have caused immense havoc but thankfully only a limited number were dropped. Ministry of Information public safety trailer about antipersonnel bombs (butterfly bombs)
This is an interesting article on The Gurdian recalling the impact of a raid on Grisby and Cleethorpes in 1943 when numerous butterfly bombs were dropped. Remembering the terror the Luftwaffe's butterfly bombs brought to the North
A few ARP wardens and a Rescue Squad member (with unknown helmet marking of a diamond on the side) are shown early in this film.
This is an absolutely amazing piece of film. The utter devastation and carnage of, I think, a V1 attack on Fitzrovia in London (you can see Colville Place sign at one point) in 1944. All sorts of rescue workers and Civil Defence involved and even American MPs at one point.
The Ministry of Home Security made hundreds of short films to be shown in cinemas during the second world war. This is a short film about how to prepare a refuge room in a house.
The IWM recently released a new film site on which you can view hundreds of their archival films. This film about ARP Post 39 in Finchley, London is very interesting. Check out the curious helmet the Post Warden wears.
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News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.