This badge (currently up for sale on eBay) was new to me but other collectors have intimated that similar badges have been seen before. Alas, it was also reported that similar badges were copied and reproduced several years ago. Going by the type of embroidery and the backing on the badge this could be original but without provenance it's impossible to say categorically if this example is the real McCoy.
Up on eBay are a four 'Decontamination' shoulder titles. These are the printed variety. Unusual to see four in original strip.
This portrait, from a series of staged photos, shows a Warden from the Westminster area of London. She's wearing the standard issue ARP Pattern 71 tunic with slacks. The tunic features the ARP embossed buttons (tunics are also known to have white metal CD and crown and from 1943 black plastic buttons featuring CD letters and crown). She's has a civilian style respirator sack slung over her shoulder and the lanyard is probably white (boroughs of London generally adopted this colour).
This interesting photo shows wardens belonging to the Maidenhead area. Going by the number of war service chevrons the photo is probably a stand down photo following the dissolution of the Civil Defence services in May 1945. Of interest is a triangular badge on the left sleeves of a number of wardens. It is unknown at this time what this badge represents. At the back is a single lady warden wearing a private purchase side cap.
Photo is currently available on eBay.
I manged to purchase a job lot of Civil Defence insignia on eBay and among the various items were two pairs of shoulder titles for a Fire Guard Sector Captain. I have previously seen the printed version of this rank but had not managed to get hold of the embroidered ones until now. The Sector Captain was the lowest uniformed rank within the Fire Guard service and wore a helmet with two half-inch black bands on it. In all photographs I have seen it has always been a Mk II helmet rather than a Zuckerman.
This unusual ARP badge with additional "Queens Canteen" popped up on eBay recently. I cannot seem to find any information about a 'Queens Canteen" (or Queen's Canteen) on the internet. A design of badge I've not come across this design before.
Two photos showing the early-war uniforms worn by Air Raid Wardens. The female warden is wearing the wrapover coat (with ARP badge and area marking) with the felt hat. She is holding a white helmet (so holds some seniority). The male warden is wearing the bluette overalls with ARP badge and area marking and has the standard issue black helmet. Alas no more information on where these photos were taken.
An early world war two local authority area marking for use on bluette overalls. This red on black variety was superseded by the old gold yellow from the end of 1941. A very nice condition badge that's currently up for sale on eBay with an original embroidered CD beret badge,
A group photo showing three ARP ambulance crew (drivers or attendants) in their standard uniform with the ski caps and what appears to be the arched 'LAAS' (London Auxiliary Ambulance Service)insignia. Sat at the front are three nurses with the ARP badge to the front of their uniforms. It appears that the nurses also have the LAAS emblem above the ARP insignia, if this is correct this is the first time I have seen this worn in this way. I did not know nurses were attached directly to the LAAS.
The photo is currently available on eBay.
Up on eBay is a collection of CD items. Included are some printed rank chevrons (that look unused), warden shoulder titles and the CD badge made specifically for the gabardine coat. A nice collection.
When a business did not want to go to the expense of having a badge made with their own company name on they could purchase generic badges. The one below is such an example. I have seen the identical badge with 'Factory' written on it. The same design could be used but with a company name; this design is known to have been used by Rowntree amongst others.
A nice shot of two members of the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) aiding a stretcher case. The LAAS shoulder title can be seen cleanly on the coat.
A very interesting bespoke cap badge for the rescue service in Reading.
This group portrait (currently on eBay) shows a number of ARP/CD personnel and a boy scout. The lady sat in the centre at the bottom is most interesting. She is wearing the standard issue Pattern 71 tunic with a beret (not usually seen). Her insignia is very interesting: she is wearing an instructor's badge on her collar, a St John qualification on her right breast pocket and it would appear she also has the Life Saving badge on her lower left forearm (a most unusual place for this badge). Given her central position she is probably the most senior person in the group.
The gentleman next to her has five war service chevrons so this dates the photo towards the end of the war. His breast pocket badge is the red on black ARP type (rather then the more usual yellow on black CD version).
The majority of the other ladies have the Pattern 47 wrapover with red lined collars. They also are wearing the felt hat.
This interesting badge is made from the standard issue CD breast badge and the local area marking badge for Gloucestershire. There's usually not enough space on the left-hand pocket of the battledress to accommodate both badges neatly so in this case it looks like the owner cut down the breast badge a little. An interesting bespoke badge that is currently for sale on World War Wonders.
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.
A table chock full of boxed silver ARP badges awaiting presentations to members of the St John Ambulance Brigade by the Mayor at Reading Town Hall in May 1938. A special woven yellow on black ARP badge was later made available for St John volunteers to wear on their uniform and worn on the lower right sleeve.
Image: Reading Museum object number REDMG : 1980.36.A50.5
I picked this rather rare medal bar up on eBay recently. I've seen a few other types of these medal bars but this specific anti-gas instructor was new to me. Given that the ARPS also appears it ties in closely with the ARPS Instructor badge that civil defence personnel could train for.
I am indebted to Steve Crookes for sending me this photo of a British Red Cross medal with interesting medal bars from his collection. This shows how the above bar would have been worn. Note the 1941 ARP medal bar.
This Westminster area marking cropped up on eBay recently. I have seen a variation in yellow and now this confirms a red version was also available. This would have been sewn onto bluette overalls.
I had a spare hour over the weekend and I finally made up a chart for the position of the main insignia found on CD battledress after its introduction. The prescribed locations were detailed in ARP Memo 17. I'll look into doing the ladies ARP Pattern 71 tunic in the future.
It is sometimes curious that an item you've never seen before appears on eBay and then another crops up shortly after. The token on the left appeared first (and sold for £27). I'm not sure what the token was used for to be honest. The one on the right was recently listed but appears to be somewhat less well made. It's almost like a reproduction - the quality is poorer and the numbers look more like those from a modern stamping set.
Just cropped up on eBay is this Warden's BD blouse with a 1942 (letter O) date stamp made by Montague Burton. Has a Leicestershire area marking and war service chevrons and the CD breast badge looks to be the type that were sewn to the jacket before issue. The rarest item is a red wound stripe - for someone wounded in the First World War and goes with the medal ribbon bar. A nice jacket with minor mothing.
The very rare badge cropped up on eBay. I've never seen this badge before and it's an odd mix of ARP and Housewives Service. It's sure to get the collectors salivating and it'll go for a bomb I imagine.
This area marking for Coventry is currently on eBay. The type of manufacture, without a border in this case, makes this a second world war and not post war type.
This interesting photograph appears to show a District Warden from Holborn in central London assisting a child with her 'Mickey Mouse' style gas mask. The most peculiar part of his uniform is the placement of the three bars of rank on the lower sleeve. I am assuming these are the yellow bars to denote a district (sometimes called divisional warden). They usually appear at the top of the sleeve. The warden's jacket is somewhat peculiar as well. I thought it was a standard issue battledress but this jacket has chrome buttons to cuff and epaulette - standard issue had revolving shank to epaulettes and a black plastic button to the cuff closure. The area title for Holborn is above the pocket (even above his first world war medal ribbon trio). I think the main badge is the ARP red on black breast badge but I cannot make it out for certain. He also does not have any shoulder titles. The helmet is a standard issue one for a district warden - a single black stripe. He is also wearing a Civil Defence armband which is against the usually prescribed use(they were to be worn over civilian clothes). All-in-all a most peculiar uniform.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.