From the same seller as the GWR ARP badge from a few days ago this GWR ARP armband is also on eBay.
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.
This rather interesting badge recently appeared on eBay. I've come across some information on specific ARP teams attached to the various railway companies during the war but I have not seen many specific badges. There was a GWR ARP helmet that appeared sometime ago but the authenticity of it was questioned at the time. If you know more about ARP teams working for the railways please let me know.
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.
I am indebted to Michael Newbold for the following photo of Kingston Upon Thames ARP first aid personnel taken at Bonner Hill School. The people present are probably all members of the St John Ambulance attached to ARP duties. You can see ARP window notices on the windscreens. There are a smattering of dark armbands present but I cannot clearly identify if these are St John variations (or even the dark green Red Cross ARP armbands). There are a few ARP lapel badges and I think one gentleman appears to be wearing the First World War Silver Wound Badge.
At air raid incidents and when reporting activity wardens would use ARP Form M1. When reports had been successfully sent through to the Report / Control Centres they would utilise ARP Form M2 (shown below). It was similar in many ways but should a number of M1s have been received about a similar incident it was the M2 that then took precedence.
Local authorities issued hundreds if leaflets and notices to educate people about staying safe after an air raid. The primary concern was to alleviate pressure on the health surfaces by ensuring people did not fall unnecessarily ill from something that could be easily avoided. This notice advises on how to purify water following an air raid.
A quite scare ARP rescue axe carrier has cropped up on eBay. Not often seen these were usually issued to Rescue Parties. A rescue worker carrying one on his hip can be seen in a photo on the rescue equipment page.
This fine study shows Robert Watson of Soham, Cambridgeshire. Possibly pre-war or very early war is shows how a warden would have been equipped prior to the issue of the first uniform (bluette overalls). He has the silver lapel badge, a Civil Defence yellow-on-dark-clue armband and a black helmet with white 'W'. He appears to have the simple cotton sack to hold his gas mask. Image courtesy of Keith Watson.
An interesting early war 'GW' marked warden's helmet. The use of a rank diamond is quite rare and usually means a date of pre-autumn 1941. Plain black versions with white GW have been seen in period photos.
An information leaflet to be kept with the gas mask. Includes details on the various sirens, rattles, whistles and hand bells used by wardens.
In London (and other cities) many people lived in properties that required shelters to be built to accommodate them. To ensure that the correct person gained access a ticketing system was introduced. This Shelter Ticket for the London Civil Defence Region is one such item.
Of all the biographies written by wardens during the war, a couple continue to stand out to this day. One such tome is Barbara Nixon's "Raiders Overhead". Nixon's account of the Blitz in London, first published in 1943, is a compelling read and history of the times and how the ARP and Civil Defence Service worked. Well worth getting hold of a copy if you can. For more recommendations, see the resources section.
A number of very interesting helmets appeared on thesaleroom.com recently. This helmet in black with standard white W to front and rear also has three chevrons added. Generally, three chevrons relates to a head warden and they usually wore a white helmet with single black bar. Regional variances once again it seems.
This interesting leaflet details the most widely offered ARP equipment available to the general public. The leaflet comes from the Lowestoft department store R. J. Pryce & Co on Suffolk Road (later Godfreys and now Kerrys). Reproduced by kind permission of the website Old Lowestoft.
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.
Members of LAAS pose on their ambulance in London, early in the war. Only the gentleman wear bluette overalls with LAAS above the right breast pocket
An interesting card for a lady doing compulsory Fire Guard duty.
An interesting photograph showing members of a a Mobile Hospital Unit from Streatham in London. I'd not come across the MHU helmet marking until I saw this photo.
A nice piece of memorabilia from WW2. An 'Air Raid Warden' sign used outside the home of a warden in St Mary Cray, south east London.
A selection of civil defence helmets, some quite rare and scare markings, has cropped up on auction website saleroom.com. The below is a white party leader ACC - Ambulance Casualty Clearance - helmet.
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 tube of ready-to-use blackout tape would be cut to size, dipped in water and stuck to a window. The claim made by the manufacturers that it also "reinforced the window" is well, stretching it a bit...
Carrying on from yesterday's blog I came across this helmet being discussed on the War Relics Forum. With two black bands this helmet would be for a senior officer in the Casualty Services department.
News about interesting insignia, ARP related info and period photos that turn up.