A large majority of the ARP Pattern 57 & 59 serge battledress jackets came with the CD breast badge sewn to the left breast pocket. The below image shows an original jacket with the method most commonly used to attach the badge. Individuals in areas that provided area markings could sewn them beneath this badge.
Barbara Nixon in 1943. She was one of the first women to be employed as a full-time Air Raid Warden in London. She was also an Instructor (badge on her collar) and Incident Officer (I.O. badge seen on her right sleeve). She was the author of "Raiders Overhead", an invaluable account of the Blitz in London. She is wearing the standard ARP Pattern 71 serge jacket/tunic and a rather snazzy (and unofficial) check shirt.
An interesting photo showing the rescue of a dog. The white helmet on the right is most interesting as he has both the ARP breast badge as well as the 'R London' badge on the pocket of his bluette overalls. The photo is said to be from 1940 which tallies with the overalls and lack of the serge battledress. I currently don't know the exact date that the 'R London' badge was introduced but going by this photo is was quite early in the war.
A very good quality portrait of an air raid warden in the early bluette overalls. The area marking title is for Walthamstow.
I'd like to thank Stevan Chambers for contacting me and allowing me to share this photo of an original WW2 St John Ambulance Brigade uniform. The yellow ARP sleeve patch turns up from time to time but it is excellent to see this on an actual uniform. Next challenge is to find a WW2 photo of it being worn. Visit original Instagram post
A somewhat peculiar serge jacket has appeared on eBay. I initially thought it was an example of the austerity pattern serge jacket with the exposed buttons but the breasts pockets are not correct. ARP jackets do not have pleats on the pockets (no breast badge could be affixed to jackets with pocket pleats like this). The jacket has a CC41 label and a part manufacturer label with possibly 'Newfoundland' written on it. I'm assuming this is a work jacket similar to the civilian work jacket that can be seen on the IWM site. If you know more, please let me know.
A nice studio portrait of an ARP Senior Warden (two yellow chevrons to sleeve) possibly from the Birmingham area. She is wearing the standard issue ARP Pattern 71 serge jacket but has a private purchase side cap with two ARP chrome buttons to front closure.
This image is captioned as Mrs Iris Cynthia (no surname) of Kennington in the Lambeth borough of London but I cannot find any further information at this time.. It's very interesting as it is shows for the first time the use of District Wardens rank insignia (two red bars and diamond) on what initially looks like an ambulance drivers' coat. However, the buckle is not correct for that coat. It could be a private purchase wrap-over style item to which she has added insignia to. She has a 'DW' - District Warden - helmet.
A group of four ARP ambulance drivers wearing the standard issue drivers' coat and peaked cap. One is most certainly wearing the standard ATP silver badge but the others appear to have smaller cap badges, possibly smaller versions of the ARP badge.
A peculiar set of overalls that belonged to a volunteer with the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS). I've not seen overalls in this design before and the bespoke badge is most interesting in the way that it can be removed fro the overalls.
Members of Lambeth's ARP Civil Defence stand in front of a car that's collecting for the war effort. The chap and young fellow on the left are in the bluette overalls and the chap on the right has the overcoat and beret.
A nice group portrait of ARP wardens taken before the issue of battledress in the autumn of 1941. Standard bluette overalls and helmets with slung gas masks. Alas it is not possible to discern the area marking on their uniforms.
A late war group portrait of civil defence personnel from the Wolverhampton area. Looks like one chap at the front has at least four war service chevrons. Most have berets but one gentleman is wearing a private purchase side cap. There is a mix of badges on the headgear - most have the silver ARP badge but a few have the later embroidered badge. The highest rank is three chevrons with a star, probably a post warden. The chap top right looks to have an Incident Officer (I.O.) badge on his lower right sleeve.
The very interesting group portrait shows a group of London Auxiliary Ambulance Service personnel. The ladies are wearing the Pattern 71 serge jacket with Pattern 73 slacks. They all wear the peaked cap with LAAS badge. The men are in battledress (Pattern 59 and the austerity version with exposed buttons) and their berets also have the LAAS badge. Beneath the CD breast badge they are wearing the LONDON area marking (worn only by members of the LAAS).
This portrait shows the essential clothing required by members of the decontamination squads. With special gas-proof clothing and special gas cape to the helmet, these civil defence personnel were trained to deal with the hazardous chemicals that German bombs might contain. A great deal of training was undertaken to deal with the various types of chemical. Thankfully, no-one was ever called upon to deal with an chemical weapons. The hand bell was to be sounded when any chemical weapons had been safely dealt with (the opposite of this was the gas rattle used to warn of the use of chemical bombs.) The chap is wearing the standard Mk. II helmet with 'W' for Warden; later on these squads had DC ( for Decontamination) on their helmets.
An interesting photograph of two members of a London County Council LAAS ambulance. The lady (probably the driver) is wearing the standard issue drivers' coat with peaked cap (and a rather fetching dark shirt and light tie). The gentleman is wearing bluette overalls with a LAAS badge above the right pocket and standard black Mk. II helmet with white, two-inch high, letter 'A'. The ambulance is a Bedford.
This photo shows a line up of the new uniforms being issued to the civil defence services (from left):
Ambulance driver - ARP Pattern 43 drivers' coat and ARP Pattern 45 drivers' ski cap
First aid reporter - ARP Pattern 47 bluette wrapover
Female raid warden - ARP Pattern 42 women's warden's coat and ARP Pattern 44 felt hat
First aid nurse - ARP Pattern 46 nursing overall
Male raid warden - ARP Pattern 41 bluette overalls and helmet
A most interesting group portrait from the IWM archives. Listed as "Group portrait of the ARP Rescue and Demolition Teams from Brigham, Middlesbrough and Bridlington. Tom Alderson GC is in civilian clothes sitting on the Mayor's right."
Rare to see the Repair Party/Road helmets (marked RP/R). A few appear to have specific armbands and the standard Civil Defence blue with gold lettering is being worn. There is a chap with a white helmet and three diamonds with a specific role I cannot quite make out. Given that everyone is in bluette overalls I would safely say the photo in pre-Summer 1941.
Six ambulance drivers from Sheffield in front of their vehicles. They all wear the ARP Pattern 71 serge jacket with ARP Pattern 73 slacks.
I picked this rather interesting post card up on eBay for a few quid. It features a large group consisting of:
1) At the back (probably) members of an ARP First Aid Post or First Aid Party. Most have been trained by the St. John Ambulance Association going by the badge on the right breast pocket. All are wearing the serge battledress apart from a couple of chaps top row who are wearing bluette overalls.
2) A line of nurses, some wearing the distinct St. John emblem on their uniform front and one NA.
3) Ahead of these nurses are five ambulance drivers in their distinct drivers' coats.
4) At the bottom are a row of ARP Nursing Auxiliaries (ARP NA) They have the blue uniform with the red embroidered ARP on the front.
Overall, a very nice mix of personnel detailing core first aid and hospital members.
A wonderful photo from Getty Images showing the uniform of London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) personnel.. The description is "18th October 1940, London, England, Queen Elizabeth chats to a woman Ambulance driver during her tour of inspection of Ambulance ARP depots in London".
LCC ambulance crews pose by their vehicles. Probably before the autumn of 1942 given the lack of battledress and the fact that bluette combination suit overalls are being worn. The ladies are wearing the standard issue drivers' cost.
A nice portrait of a member of the Civil Defence in her standard issue uniform of felt hat worn with ARP Pattern 71 Jacket and ARP Patter 72 Skirt.
It's rare to see Civil Defence officers wearing peaked caps. This photo showing a CD group from Nuneaton has two officers wearing them. What service they originally came from is hard to determine. The man to the left has affixed his ARP badge to the cap. No piping can be seen so possibly the caps were police issue.
A couple of staged photos showing the new ARP Pattern 71 serge jacket that was being issued in the Summer/Autumn of 1941. One photo shows the slacks (ARP Pattern 73) and the other the skirt (ARP Pattern 72)
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.