With many men in reserved occupations or in the forces it fell on women to fill positions in some services. Ambulance drivers was one such role and was extremely dangerous. Travelling during the blackout and during raids the drivers ferried casualties from incidents to first aid posts and hospitals.
An interesting poster showing an Incident Officer (wearing the blue helmet) getting some chit signed by the Ambulance member in the middle.
As the German bombing campaign intensified the need to inform the population of how to deal with the aftermath of an air raid became paramount. From the initial reception at Rest Centres through to compensation for injury and repairs to damaged homes and removal and storage of belongings. There was also support for those that had being completely bombed out and replacement of identity and ration cards and new gas masks.
Recruitment into the civil defence services was quite slow in the late 1930s and early war years. It was only after the German Luftwaffe starting attacking towns and cities that more volunteers cam forward. This Ministry of Home Security poster aimed at women to join as ambulance drivers and attendants.
This lithograph poster (from the V&A collection) shows the ARP lapel badge and the grand title "The Badge of Public Service". A lovely designed poster.
As well as Wardens there were many other roles available for both men and women to do within the Civil Defence Service. One important area was the extraction of injured people from bombed out buildings. Stretcher Parties were responsible for this and the injured could be attended to in situ, at a first aid post or taken to a local hospital.
A number of instructional wall posters were produced during the war. This particular one shows the make up of the typical civilian respirator (gas mask).
This is a report in the Daily Telegraph on 2 September, 1939 regarding the new laws concerning motor vehicle and bicycle lights. 1940 alone there were 300,000 prosecutions for blackout offences.
An official notice issued from the Lord Privy Seal’s office stated: “A lighting order has been made under Defence Regulation No 24 and comes into operation at sunset tonight as a further measure of precaution.
The photograph shows the ARP recruitment and information office in Westminster, London. The poster in the left hand window is shown in larger size.
The plethora of propaganda posters that appeared during the second world war can be seen in some of the original photographs and home movies made. Some Wardens' Posts were literally plastered with several posters. This Fire Guard recruiting poster from the Ministry of Home Security conveys the dangers being faced by German incendiary devices - or 'Firebomb Fritz".
As the Fire Guard was reorganised throughout the war, many people found they had to partake in long, boring evenings when nothing happened. However, their presence and ability to deal with fires and call in the fire brigade would save many buildings.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.