A member of London County Council 's(L.C.C.) Ambulance service assists a colleague with their anti-gas clothing.
Another photo from the selection being offered on eBay. This photo was taken in May 1940 and shows signs and posters on the side of Poplar Town Hall on Bow Road, London.
A number of early war photographs have been put up for sale on eBay. The below shows a wardens' post and First Aid Post on Gale Street (the smaller sign second from the top says LMS Station Becontree). Bectrontree is in Barking & Dagenham in London). As per regulations all street signage showing distances to towns have been removed and replaced with other signs. The wardens' post is typical of the many temporary posts built at the start of the war.
During the war a number of instructional slides set were created. These were shown during training classes. The people covers how to deal with patients affected by tear gas.
Two photos of wardens from the Bromley area in south-east London. Going be the lack of war service chevrons and also non first aid badges in evidence I would say this was taken shortly after the group took delivery of the serge battledress blouses and trousers. The same group has posed with and without their helmets.
Mr Benjamin Stanley Musgrave, an ARP warden from Chingford, shows his BEM to Miss Fenn and his sister Mrs Franklin after he visited the King at a recent Investiture, 29 May, 1941. The British Empire Medal (formally British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service) is a medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. The current honour was created in 1922 to replace the original medal, which had been established in 1917 as part of the Order of the British Empire.
In the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 28 March 1941:
Awarded the Medal of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for Meritorious Service:--B enjamin Stanley Musgrave, A.R.P. Warden, Chingford.
During a heavy air raid several houses were destroyed. The debris caught fire and blazed fiercely. Fireman Davies' house was severely damaged and he was badly shaken. Immediately he had recovered he went to a wrecked house in which two persons and a child were trapped under a bed. Having located the casualties, he burrowed
into the debris with his bare hands. He succeeded in reaching the bed and, finding the baby, he passed it out to the Wardens. He then tried to release the other victims. This he could not do unaided and Warden Musgrave volunteered to help him. Davies then levered up the debris with his body whilst Musgrave crawled under the bed
and allowed himself to be pulled out with the woman on his back. Still taking the weight of the debris, Davies, after fifteen minutes, succeeded in releasing the remaining trapped person, who was then drawn to safety.
Davies was in a state of collapse and had to receive first aid treatment but, when it was reported that another child was trapped, he again crawled under the wreckage and continued working for the rest of the night. His heroic action saved many lives.
A London Post Warden (denoted by the three chevrons and six-pointed star on his sleeve) exchanges information with a member of the British Red Cross. The warden is also qualified as an Incident Officer. (Copyright BRCS IN2646)
With the Civil Defence services being stood down in May 1945, a large number of groups had 'stand down' group photographs taken. These provide a wealth of information on the insignia in use at the close of hostilities. The below photo shows a number of men that appear to be all in junior supervisory roles. The gentleman far left has the star above the three rank chevrons and five war service chevrons. There are a smattering of first aid badges on the right breast pockets but I cannot discern the area marking title (it looks to be quite short in length). As usual not everyone had a lanyard. A good number here are veterans of the first world war.
A very good photo showing five ladies wearing the Gabardine Coat ARP Pattern 81 coat with red piped collars and the special CD badge made specifically for this coat. Appears they have also applied a St John Ambulance Association first aid training badge to their coats.
A group shot of civil defence rescue personnel from Brynmawr (then in Breconshire). Of interest is that it appears that all the members have ARP red-on-dark blue breast pocket badges and then the old gold area marking below. This mix is known but quite rare to see.
A fascinating set of five photographs of ARP wardens in their ARP Post. Going by the map shown the location is Skegness. The area marking of Lindsey is seen which is the traditional division of Lincolnshire covering the northern part of the county (and includes Skegness). Probably taken pre-1941 as only bluette overalls are shown. Photos courtesy of Geoff Caulton.
A photograph taken outside of Buckingham Palace of Mr Saines and his wife. The ARP warden from Lewes was receiving the British Empire Medal (BEM). Photo dated as 1943. Interesting to see the embroidered beret badge.
There exists a large number of photos detailing a Civil Defence exercise that took place in Fulham in 1941. The photos are part of a series called The Reconstruction of "An Incident". Many of the photos are available on the IWM website. However, I keep coming across photos relating to this exercise which I had not seen before. This photo shows an officer in the Control Centre updating the Damage board. Of interest is the CONTROL shoulder title on his bluette overalls. You don't often see shoulder titles on overalls, and seeing CONTROL ones is quite rare.
The first person to be directly awarded the newly instituted George Cross was Civil Defence member Thomas Alderson. He was awarded the medal for leading the rescue of trapped civilians on three occasions in 1940. The other medal is the silver issue RSPCA Gallantry Medal. Of interest is the Instructor sleeve badge which also has ARPS above it. The ARPS was the Air Raid Precautions School and the badges just visible on his collar is probably the gold coloured ARPS Instructor badge.
A number of sets of slides for training purposes was created during the war. This set shows how to deal with an incendiary bomb using the scoop and sand container,
Members of a local NARPAC (National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee) rescue a cat from a bombed out building, 11 November 1940.
Image: Imperial War Museum
An interesting photograph showing the band of the Welsh Guards atop an air raid shelter. They are playing to an audience outside the Bank of England, London, during a ward bonds drive,
An excellent portrait of an early-war Gas Identification Officer - GIO - designated by two black diamonds on a yellow helmet. One black diamond was for an assistant to the GIO. Three black diamonds were for Senior Gas Adviser. From 1942 helmets were standardized across the country:
Gas Adviser - Senior Gas Adviser
GIO - Gas Identification Officer
GI - Assistant to GIO
FOOD - Food Decontamination Officer
DC FOOD - Food Treatment Squad
London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) driver and attendant with their Talbot ambulance in 1939. The LAAS was created to support the existing London Ambulance Service (LAS) dealing with the expected casualties of air raids on London. Whilst the LAS was organised by the London County Council (LCC), the LAAS was managed by individual ambulance stations.
Image Copyright: London Metropolitan Archive
A most evocative photo of children done up as wardens and a nurse. A cracking photo.
A warden poses in his garden wearing the full gas protective suit. Issued to those involved in dealing with gas and chemical attacks the oilskin plus gas mask and Wellington boots were the only protection against the effects of the various gases. The gas rattle was used to inform the general population that a gas attack had occurred.
A photo from LIFE that shows a gas mask exercise taking place in Kingston upon Thames. It appears tear gas was used to ensure people did indeed use their gas mask during the event. Love the name of the shop in the background - Coronation Tuck Shop.
An image from Getty that I had not come across before. Although undoubtedly a staged photo, the notes for the photo say: "20th January 1940: Ambulance drivers often suffer eye strain from having to drive through the blackout. These eye masks saturated with eye lotion help to ease their discomfort in moments of relaxation." Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images
A photo of two wardens at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in London 1939. The gentleman on the left has a gas curtain attached to his helmet.
The most interesting photo and description shows the destruction of street level air raid shelters. Dated April 1945 it shows that by this late stage of the war there was no longer any threat from the Luftwaffe or V-weapons (obviously the remaining airfields were way inside Germany and the range of V2s (about 200 miles) could no longer reach the UK).
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