1925 Gent’s Standard 3-Speed Raleigh WW2 ARP Transport

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ARP – Air Raid Precautions – had begun life in 1924 as a Home Office subcommittee under the chairmanship of Sir John Anderson. It sprang from the British civilian experience of bombing in the First World War, during which Germany had mounted 103 raids (fifty-one by airships), mostly on London. A total of 300 tons of bombs had killed 1413 people. The worst single bombing incident of the war occurred in London on 28 January 1918 when a 660 lb. bomb hit the Odhams print works in Long Acre, killing thirty-eight and injuring eighty-five.

In March 1935 Hitler proclaimed the existence of a new German air force, the Luftwaffe, boasting that it was already equal in size to the RAF. It was subsequently combat-tested during the Spanish Civil War, in which the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica by the bombers of the German Condor Legion provided a chilling image of the horrors of modern warfare. In the late 1930s British air planners anticipated that, if war came, the Luftwaffe might launch an overwhelming air attack on London.

Twelve autonomous Civil Defence regions were established, with London counting as a single region. In the Blitz the warden was to be the eyes and ears of the local Civil Defence Control Centre, patrolling the streets and controlling ‘incidents’, the bureaucratic euphemism invented to describe every sort of disaster inflicted on the civilian population by an air raid. It was the warden’s report of an ‘incident’ that set the civil defence machine in motion, summoning stretcher parties, fire engines, heavy rescue units and mobile canteens – all the services required to care for the injured, comfort the survivors and dispose of the dead.

A corps of ARP volunteers was established throughout Britain starting in 1938, comprising Air Raid Wardens, Observers (plane spotters), Fire Watchers, Rescue Workers, Messengers, etc. A small percentage of the Air Raid Wardens were full-time and received a small wage. After completion of training, ARP volunteers were issued a hallmarked sterling silver badge (after 1940 they were made in a white metal).

The most visible ARP volunteers were the Air Raid Wardens who were invested with the authority to enforce blackout regulations, determine Air Raid alert status and establish shelter assignments. They also assisted the regular Police force if required.

An ARP Bicycle Messenger had to ride his bike to the local ARP Warden’s post after an air raid ‘all-clear’ siren had sounded, in order to deliver messages to other posts and Civil Defence control as directed by the Wardens. That could be tricky – the all-clear siren was sometimes presumptuous – and Bicycle Messengers were sometimes killed in air-raids. Traffic accidents were also frequent at first, as vehicles and pedestrians had to get used to a complete lack of lighting in streets, buildings and on vehicles.


Blackout regulations applied to all vehicles, whose lights had to have covered top halves. Attachments were made for car headlights and bicycle lamps, but companies also started manufacturing special bicycle headlights with built-in hooded tops, as with the bakelite headlight on this bicycle, below



1925 Gent’s Standard 3-Speed Raleigh

WW2 ARP Transport – Coleford Rd Post, Sheffield

24″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Sturmey Archer ‘Model K’ Three-Speed Gears

Brooks B97 Heavy Duty Saddle

(Now sold)

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I bought this 1925 Raleigh from Neil, a collector. He had purchased it from the grandson of an Air Raid Warden who’d bought it at auction in 1938 to serve him in his wartime duties in Sheffield, as Senior Air Raid Warden. At that time, volunteers were being mobilised around the country to prepare for War and German bombing raids. Sheffield was a major British industrial centre and the ARP in that city was important. It was used regularly until the end of 1940 when the bombing of Sheffield made the use of bicycles too dangerous. (See further down the page about the ‘Sheffield Blitz’ of December 1940).

The bike’s owner sustained serious injury during a bombing raid. He retired from active ARP duty, and his bicycle was stored in his shop storeroom for later use. But it actually remained there in storage for over thirty years, until the shop was sold in the 1970s, and the bike was passed to his grandson. Neil purchased the bike from the grandson in 2005, restored the paintwork on the frame and chaincase, replaced the handlebar grips with period Dover celluloid grips, fitted new tyres and gave it a thorough mechanical overhaul. The original nickel plated handlebars are a bit faded with age.

Neil has used it for displays around the north of England over the past eight years, where it has won prizes. It is fully accessorised, with bell, pump, rear carrier and luggage box, and a particularly attractive wartime bakelite black-out front lamp.

Inside the rear luggage box is a magazine called ‘All-Clear’ which was the magazine for Air Raid Wardens in Sheffield; the cover has disintegrated, but the rest of the magazine is intact.

One of the original silver ARP badges is also included with the bicycle (below), as well as an A.R.P Warden’s Hudson & Co whistle, and an album with a complete set of  Wills AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS cigarette cards (illustrated at the bottom of the page).




1938 Wills Cigarette Cards Album ARP


AIR RAID WARDENS AND CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER DESPATCH RIDER. Air raid wardens are volunteers enrolled by the local authority. They are specially trained to advise their fellow citizens on Air Raid Precautions and to act as reporting agents of bomb damage. In the event of an air raid, they would be stationed at “warden’s posts,” perhaps a quarter of a mile apart, or less. The picture shows wardens handing reports to a volunteer despatch-rider. All wear steel helmets and Civilian Duty Respirators (illustrated and described on Card No. 30). The wardens are also wearing armlets. Note the shading device on the lamp of the motor cycle. (No.34)

Air Raid Precautions


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 Above, you can see one of the pages from the ‘All Clear’ magazine.

1940 sheffield blitz

The ‘Sheffield Blitz’ occurred during the nights of 12 December and 15 December 1940.

On the afternoon of 12 December British monitoring stations detected X Verfahren radio beams being laid across northern England and calculated that the likely target of the coming raid would be Sheffield. The yellow alert was received at 6.15pm followed by the purple alert at 6.45pm. The red alert was sounded at 7pm. The attack was made by three main groups of aircraft flying from airfields in northern France. 13 Heinkel 111s from Kampfgruppe 100 – the German Pathfinder unit – arrived over the city at 7.41 p.m. and dropped 16 SC50 high explosive bombs, 1,009 B1 E1 ZA incendiaries and 10,080 B1 E1 incendiaries.

The first main group was made up of three waves of 36 Junkers 88s and 29 Heinkel 111s. The second group was made up of 23 Junkers 88s, 74 Heinkel 111s and 7 Dornier 17s. The last group was made up of 63 Junkers 88s and 35 Heinkel 111s, a total of 280 aircraft. At about 9.30 p.m. a stick of bombs fell on Campo Lane and Vicar Lane, demolishing the West end of Sheffield Cathedral. At about 10.50 p.m. a 500 kg bomb fell on and destroyed the C&A building opposite the Marples Hotel. At 11.44 p.m., The Marples Hotel itself received a direct hit. It is not known exactly how many people were killed but approximately 70 bodies were recovered from the rubble. This was the single biggest loss of life in the attacks.[ The majority of the bombs on this night fell on the City Centre or on residential districts with the last bombs falling at 4am.

The second night of the Blitz saw the first use of a new German policy for their pathfinders. High explosive bombs were no longer carried and were replaced by incendiaries. On this night the pathfinder force was made up of 16 Heinkel 111s that dropped 11,520 B1 E1 incendiaries between 7 p.m. and 7.50 p.m. The 15 large and numerous small fires started were visible from 150 km away.

The main raid was carried out by 50 Heinkel 111s and 11 Dornier 17s. The raid finished at 10.15 p.m.. Many steelworks received hits, including Hadfields, Brown Bayleys and Steel, Peech & Tozer Ltd, although the damage was not serious enough to affect production.

In total over 660 people were killed, 1,500 injured and 40,000 made homeless. 3,000 homes were demolished with a further 3,000 badly damaged. A total of 78,000 homes received damage. Six George Medals were awarded to citizens of Sheffield for their bravery during the raids.

sheffield blitz

Below, a postcard reproduces a front cover of The Morris Owner magazine, illustrating a Morris Eight approaching a sandbagged ARP post.


Despite appalling casualties, the traditional British sense of humour played a large part in helping us win the war. Air Raid Wardens, like everything else during WW2, were fair game for humour.



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air raid precautions


Foreword by the Home Secretary 
Home Office, Whitehall, London, S.W.1


This series of A.R.P. cigarette cards shows in clear pictures some of the things that the Government and the Local Authorities are working out for the protection of the general public, and also some of the things that each member of the public can do for himself in time of emergency. As Home Secretary I am responsible for a Home Defence Service which might affect the life of any person in the country, and I therefore welcome these cigarette cards for the manner in which they bring home to the householder and his family what they can do for themselves. Air Raid Precautions are not mysterious. They are based on commonsense suggestions and the essential things recommended cost very little and demand ingenuity and improvisation rather than expenditure. Even some of the more elaborate recommendations can be carried out quite easily in co-operation with a neighbour. I commend a study of these cards to your attention.
Samuel Hoare


Air Raid Precautions




CHOOSING YOUR REFUGE ROOM. The picture shows the rooms which should be chosen in typical houses as air raid refuge rooms. A cellar or basement is best of all. In a small house where there is no cellar or basement, the ground floor will be safest, because top floors are always to be avoided on account of the risk from small incendiary bombs. The fewer windows in external walls in a refuge room, the better, and a room of which the window is flanked by a building or strong wall is more advantageous than one having a completely exposed window. (No.1)


RENDERING YOUR REFUGE ROOM GAS-PROOF. The red arrows in the picture show the danger points at which gas may enter; these must be sealed as instructed below. Cracks in ceilings and walls should be filled in with putty or pasted over with paper. Cracks between floor boards, round the skirting or where pipes pass through the walls should be filled in with pulp made of sodden newspaper. All ventilators and fireplaces should be stopped up with paper or rags. Windows should be wedged firmly to keep them tight and the frames sealed round with gummed strip or paper. The cracks round doors should be covered with stout paper and the keyhole plugged. (No.2)


MAKING A DOOR GAS-PROOF. A carpet or blanket should be fixed over the door opening as shown in the illustration. This should be kept wet and at least twelve inches allowed to trail on the floor. Such an arrangement reduces the risk of entry of gas when the door is opened for use. In addition, if there is a large crevice under the door, a wooden strip covered with felt should be nailed to the floor to make a gas-proof joint. The keyhole and all cracks must be stopped up. (No.3)


Air Raid Precautions


WINDOW PROTECTION. This illustration shows three methods of preventing fragments of glass flying into a room when the window is damaged by bomb explosion. (A) By two layers of transparent wrapping material gummed all over the inside of the glass. This admits light. (B) By mosquito netting gummed on the glass. (C) By stout paper pasted on the glass. Should the glass be completely shattered, then attach by means of thumbscrews to the inside of the of the window, a frame (D) in which there are two thicknesses of blanket with 1/2inch mesh wire netting on each side. Another simple method is represented by a curtain (E) which is let down and fixed round the edges by strips of wood nailed to the window frame. (No.4)


WINDOW PROTECTION AGAINST BLAST. Ordinary glass may be shattered by the blast effects of high explosive bombs, but there are various substitutes for ordinary glass which are more resistant. The left-hand panes in the picture are of a specially strengthened glass and the right-hand panes are of non-inflammable transparent celluloid 1/10inch thick, reinforced on the inside by 1/2 inch mesh wire netting. Both offer considerable resistance to blast pressure, although they may be penetrated by steel splinters from bombs. If this should occur, the holes and cracks in the damaged pane should at once be pasted over with stout paper to make the pane gas-proof. (No.5)


TYPES OF SPLINTER-PROOF WALL. In the event of an air raid, steel splinters and fragments from high explosive bombs may cause many casualties. It is therefore important to take protective measures against such fragments. The picture shows three types of wall (including methods of improvisation) which will afford protection. The first (right) is of brick 13½ inches thick. The second (centre) consists of broken brick, rubble or shingle 2feet thick between corrugated iron sheets. The third (left) consists of these materials in boxes. (No.6)


Air Raid Precautions


PROTECTING YOUR WALLS – A SANDBAG DEFENCE. Walls of sandbags or sacks filled with earth, sand, etc., are the best protection for window openings of refuge rooms on the ground floor. The picture shows how this should be done. Walls should be 2ft 6in thick at the top and should overlap the window opening by at least 12inches all round; the base should be wider to prevent the wall collapsing. Such a wall will keep out splinters from high explosive bombs and protect the glass of the window from being shattered by blast. The window must still be sealed against gas. (No.7)


EQUIPPING YOUR REFUGE ROOM . (A) Having chosen your refuge room and rendered it gas-proof (see Cards Nos. 1 and 2), you should furnish it with the following articles: Table and chairs. Gum and paper for sealing windows and cracks. Tinned food and a tin to contain bread, etc. Plates, cups, knives, forks, etc. Books, writing materials, cards, etc. to pass the time with. Wireless set, gramophone, etc. (A further list is shown on Card No. 9). (No.8)


EQUIPPING YOUR REFUGE ROOM . (B) In addition to those listed on Card No. 8, your refuge room should also contain the following articles: Washstand and basin, towels, soap, etc. Plenty of water in jugs for drinking, washing, fire-fighting etc. Chamber pots, toilet paper, disinfectant. A simple hand pump for fire-fighting. A box of sand with a shovel. Overcoats, rugs, etc. for warmth. Mattress to lie on. Gum boots and mackintosh to go out in after raid. (No.9)


Air Raid Precautions


A GARDEN DUG-OUT. The picture shows a dug-out which is gas-proof and will give protection from blast and splinters from high explosive bombs. The excavation is in the form of a trench 7 ft. deep and 6 ft. wide at the top and 4 ft. wide at the bottom. The earth sides are supported by corrugated iron sheets held in place by uprights as shown in the picture. The roof consists of corrugated iron sheets resting on wooden joists laid across the excavation. Inside the entrance is an air lock formed by 2 gas curtains. Outside the dug-out, steps lead down from one side to the entrance. (No.10)


A VENTILATED GAS-PROOF SHELTER. The illustration shows a gas-proof shelter which is ventilated by air drawn in through a gas filter so that it is delivered inside the shelter for the occupants to breathe, free from poisonous gas. The filtration plant is normally driven by electric power, but if this should fail, filtered air can be drawn in by manual labour worked on the same principle as in a sewing machine or a bicycle. The picture shows the latter method in operation. (No.11)


A GAS-PROOF BALLOON SHELTER (FRENCH TYPE). Our illustration shows an ingenious French device for providing quickly a gas-proof shelter during enemy air raids. This balloon shelter consists of an impermeable envelope inflated by a pneumatic machine, with the entrance arranged on the air lock principle. Some form of illumination is provided inside. The erection of such a balloon shelter might be relatively simple since there are no doors, windows or chimneys to be sealed up. Its cost, however, would have to be taken into consideration. (No.12)


Air Raid Precautions


INCENDIARY BOMB AND ITS EFFECT. (Fire started in Room). The 2 lb. magnesium bomb does not explode, its only object being to start a fire. It will probably penetrate no further than the attic or an upper floor, setting light to anything within a few feet. Vast numbers of these light bombs can be carried by a single aeroplane, and many more fires started than could be dealt with by fire brigades. Householders, with a little training and equipment, can deal with the incendiary bombs and so protect their homes and defeat the enemy’s object. Instructions on how to deal with these bombs are given on Cards Nos 14 to 17. (No.13)


INCENDIARY BOMB COOLING DOWN. (Preliminary Fire Extinguishing with Jet from Stirrup Hand Pump). Much damage may be caused in an air raid by light incendiary bombs. The intense heat and smoke from such a bomb and the fire which it will have started make close approach impossible until the atmosphere has been cooled down and the fire partly extinguished. This is done with a jet of water from a hose not less than 30 ft. long. The stirrup hand pump (illustrated and described on Card No. 18) is recommended for this purpose. The girl in the picture is kneeling, as smoke is not so thick close to the ground. Note Redhill container in foreground (see Card No. 17). (No.14)


CONTROL OF INCENDIARY BOMB . (Pouring on Sand from Scoop). The method of dealing with incendiary bombs is described on Cards Nos. 13 to 17. In this picture the girl has taken sand from the container and is pouring it on to the bomb with a long-handled scoop. Sand does not extinguish the magnesium bomb, but it controls it and reduces the heat, thus allowing near approach. Note the Redhill container (described on Card No.17) placed on its side in a way that full scoopfuls of sand can easily be withdrawn. After the first scoopful of sand has been placed on the bomb, the glare and heat are greatly reduced. (No.15)



Air Raid Precautions


REMOVAL OF INCENDIARY BOMB WITH SCOOP AND HOE. The long-handled scoop illustrated is necessary in dealing with incendiary bombs. It is made in two sections, the scoop on one end and the hoe on the other, and when joined together is 7 ft. long. In the picture it is separated, the hoe being used to draw the bomb into the scoop which is made strong enough to withstand the heat of a burning bomb. Further instructions on the method of dealing with these bombs are given on Cards Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 17. (No.16)


EXTINCTION OF INCENDIARY BOMB. (Transferring the Bomb to the Redhill Container). In addition to this card, the method of dealing with incendiary bombs is described on Cards Nos. 13 to 16. The burning bomb is here being transferred from the scoop into the Redhill container, which can then be carried out of the house. The container is made strong enough to hold a burning magnesium bomb indefinitely, and is so designed that the heat of the bomb will not injure the hand of the person by whom it is carried. (No.17)


THE STIRRUP HAND PUMP. with a short length of hose is a most useful and inexpensive appliance for dealing with fires in their early stages. It can be worked from any available household water supply, e.g. a bath or a bucket. The length of hose enables the person directing the stream of water to approach close to the seat of the fire. This hand pump requires practically no attention when not in use, and is useful for other household purposes such as washing down a car, cleaning windows or watering the garden. (No.18)


Air Raid Precautions


TWO-MEN PORTABLE MANUAL FIRE-PUMP IN ACTION. A portable fire-pump which can be operated by two persons by means of a specially designed handle is a useful appliance for dealing with small fires. The portable canvas tank from which a pump of this kind can draw water is easily replenished from any domestic water supply, such as a bath or tap. A sufficient length of hose should be available with the pump to enable the fire party to enter a building and approach the seat of the fire with the jet. (No.19)


A CHAIN OF BUCKETS. When using a hand pump, it is necessary to have a ready supply of water which can be contained in any convenient receptacle. In the illustration, a small canvas dam is being used and kept full by a chain of persons passing filled buckets from hand to hand, others returning the empty buckets to the source of supply. The illustration shows a small hand pump in use; water is being taken from the canvas dam and a line of hose led into a building on fire. (No.20)


LIGHT TRAILER FIRE-PUMP. Under Fire Precaution schemes, the Home Office is issuing to many local authorities light trailer fire-pumps of the type illustrated. This pump has the great advantage of being very easily manoeuvred; not only can it be towed behind any motor car, but it is also light enough to be man-handled. It is capable of delivering two useful fire-fighting streams of water, and can deliver 120 gallons per minute at a pressure of 80 lb. to the square inch. The pump unit can be unshipped from its chassis and carried to any convenient position where water is available. (No.21)


Air Raid Precautions


LIGHT TRAILER FIRE-PUMP IN ACTION. Air Raid Precautions schemes will include ample provision for emergency fire-fighting. The Home Office is issuing to many local authorities light trailer fire-pumps, described on Card No. 21. The pump is here shown in action; it has been unshipped from the chassis on which it is usually carried for towing purposes, and is taking a supply of water from a garden pond, to which it has been carried by hand. The light trailer fire-pump can also work from a street mains supply, and is capable of delivering two useful fire-fighting streams of water. (No.22)


MEDIUM TRAILER FIRE-PUMP. Medium trailer motor fire-pumps will be an important feature in emergency fire-brigade measures. These pumps are towed behind private cars or commercial vans (in which the firemen and additional fire-fighting gear may be carried), and can be man-handled over rough ground or debris impassable to ordinary fire-engines or motor cars. A pump of this type will give four good fire-fighting streams of water at high pressure. (No.23)


MEDIUM TRAILER FIRE-PUMP IN ACTION. Any scheme of Air Raid Precautions must include the provision of a great number of special fire-fighting appliances. Pumping units of the type illustrated will be required in large numbers for use under air raid conditions. They are specially designed for trailing behind motor cars or light lorries. Crews of 4 or 5 trained firemen are required to man these fire-pumps, which are capable of delivering two or more streams of water at high pressure on to a fire. (No.24)


Air Raid Precautions


EMERGENCY HEAVY PUMP UNIT. The illustration shows a high-powered emergency fire-pump, carrying a telescopic ladder. This unit, which has been designed by the Home Office, is capable of delivering over 1,000 gallons of water a minute at high pressure, and is able to supply a number of good fire-fighting streams. There is accommodation on the unit for both crew and necessary fire-fighting gear. The chassis on which the pump is mounted is extremely mobile, and can be manoeuvred in a very small space. (No.25)


HOSE-LAYING LORRY. For laying long lines of delivery hose, such as may be necessary at large fires for the purpose of utilizing distant water supplies, a special motor appliance is used. The lengths of hose contained in the appliance are joined together and specially packed as shown in the illustration, so that they pay out in one or more continuous lines as the appliance is driven ahead. Other fire-fighting appliances designed for use in Fire Precautions schemes are illustrated and described on Cards Nos. 18 to 25. (No.26)


THE CIVILIAN RESPIRATOR consists of a face-piece, to which is attached by means of a rubber band a metal box containing filters which will absorb all known war gases. The face-piece is held in position by means of web straps fitting round the head. When the respirator is properly fitted and the straps adjusted, it completely protects the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs. The strap should be pinned at the right tension, so that the respirator can be slipped on in an instant. This respirator will be issued free to the public. (No.27)


Air Raid Precautions


THE CIVILIAN RESPIRATOR – HOW TO ADJUST IT. Great care must be taken to see that the respirator is correctly fitted and adjusted, in order that a supply of pure air, quite free from gas, is ensured for breathing. The respirator is made so that it fits closely round the face, and is provided with adjustable straps to hold it in the correct position. It is important that the respirator be tried on and the straps properly adjusted to the requirements of the wearer (see picture), so that it may be put on at a moment’s notice. (See also Cards Nos. 27 and 29). (No.28)


THE CIVILIAN RESPIRATOR – HOW TO REMOVE IT. The picture shows the RIGHT way to take off a Civilian Respirator. This should be done by slipping the head harness forward from the back of the head. It is important that the respirator should be taken off in this way. The WRONG way to take it off is by taking hold of the metal box containing the filters and pulling the face-piece off the chin. By this method there is a danger of bending and cracking the transparent window. If this window is cracked, the respirator is useless. (No.29)


THE CIVILIAN DUTY RESPIRATOR is of stronger construction than the Civilian Respirator (illustrated and described on Cards Nos. 27, 28 and 29) and is intended for those who might have to work in the presence of gas and could not go to a gas-protected refuge room. The respirator protects the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs against all known war gases. The face-piece is of moulded rubber, and the eye-pieces are of strong glass. There is an outlet valve opposite the nose; the protuberance at the side of the face-piece can be used to fit a microphone for speaking on the telephone. (No.30)


Air Raid Precautions




THE SERVICE RESPIRATOR is designed for the fighting services. It will also be used by members of those civil Air Raid Precautions services who might have strenuous duties to perform in heavy gas concentrations. This respirator gives the same protection as the Civilian Respirator (illustrated and described on Cards Nos. 27, 28 and 29) but for a longer period. It is designed so that the weight of the container portion is carried in the haversack on the chest, and the special face-piece allows heavy and accurate work to be performed without difficulty. (No.31)


A HEAVY ANTI-GAS SUIT. The illustration shows members of a Decontamination Squad in oilskin suits, rubber boots and respirators; a hood is also worn, but this is not shown in the picture. This equipment will give complete protection against the liquid or vapour of mustard or other persistent gases. It is essential to have squads of men trained to work in this equipment so that they can deal with and effectually neutralize any contamination which may have taken place.Owing to the fact that no air can get into the suits, men cannot work in them for very long periods of time. (No.32)


RUBBER CLOTHING. During an air raid the safety of the citizen may depend to a considerable extent on his knowledge of how to behave. Splashings from the liquid liberated from certain gas-bombs, or subsequent contact with it, produce a serious blistering of the skin. The Government provides each individual with a respirator which is complete protection for the eyes, throat and lungs. Prudent persons, if forced to go out of doors during raids, should provide themselves, in addition, with rubber or oilskin coats and hats, and rubber boots. (No. 33)


Air Raid Precautions


AIR RAID WARDENS AND CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER DESPATCH RIDER. Air raid wardens are volunteers enrolled by the local authority. They are specially trained to advise their fellow citizens on Air Raid Precautions and to act as reporting agents of bomb damage. In the event of an air raid, they would be stationed at “warden’s posts,” perhaps a quarter of a mile apart, or less. The picture shows wardens handing reports to a volunteer despatch-rider. All wear steel helmets and Civilian Duty Respirators (illustrated and described on Card No. 30). The wardens are also wearing armlets. Note the shading device on the lamp of the motor cycle. (No.34)


VOLUNTEER MOBILE CORPS (OWNER DRIVERS). Patriotic owners of private cars throughout the country have offered their services and their cars free to local authorities engaged in schemes of Air Raid Precautions. Such action has materially helped in providing the necessary transport required for Air Raid Precautions services in many towns and urban districts. This picture shows the drivers of some fifty cars running to their vehicles during a practice alarm at a well-known seaside resort. From their place of assembly, these cars were driven to various strategic points in the town, including the Fire Stations and Police Stations, whence their services were utilized as required, in accordance with a pre-arranged plan. (No.35)


A FIRST AID PARTY. The picture shows the four members of a first aid party running with a stretcher to a place where casualties have occurred. As gas has been used, they are wearing a light suit of protective clothing, with gum boots and Service Respirators (illustrated and described on Card No. 31). The scheme of Air Raid Precautions provides for the establishment of first aid posts in large numbers, so that they will be within easy access of any casualty. Such posts will be equipped to deal with minor injuries and casualties due to non-persistent gases. (No.36)



SUPPLY DEPOT FOR RESPIRATORS. This subject shows the examination of respirators at one of London’s Regional Supply Depots, of which there are now three in existence to serve the needs of the Metropolis. Ten similar Regional Supply Depots are being constructed in the provinces. Respirators after being suitably packed for long storage at these Depots, are then to be moved to store centres. Each centre is expected to house about 30,000 to 40,000 respirators, and its location is to be determined after consultation with local authorities. In the event of an emergency, respirators would be unpacked at the store centres, prepared for use, and issued to the public through distributing depots which would each handle about 4,000 respirators. (No.37)


MOBILE GAS VANS. Home Office mobile gas vans, two of which are illustrated, are used for the testing of respirators and for the purpose of training men and women under the conditions of an actual gas attack. The vans are so built that a gas cloud can be put up in the body of the van; the white canopies at the back are airlocks to prevent the escape of the gas when the door of the van itself is opened. The picture shows a group undergoing training at Hendon Police College; the respirator in use is the Service type, which is described on Card No. 31. (No.38)


CIVILIAN ANTI-GAS SCHOOL. The Civilian Anti Gas Schools are provided by the Home Office. The first to be inaugurated is at Eastwood Park, Falfield, Glos. while there is another at The Hawkhills, Easingwold, near York. The Schools train anti-gas instructors for the public service, for local authorities and others. Sixty students are taken at a time, and the course lasts two weeks. The picture shows postal workers undergoing training. Those on the left, wearing oilskin coats and Civilian Duty Respirators (see Card No. 30) are women telephonists. The men on the right are being fitted with Service Respirators (see Card No. 31) before going into the gas chamber. (No.39)



TESTING FOR GAS CONTAMINATION. The picture shows a member of a Decontamination Squad using an instrument for detecting whether the ground has been contaminated with mustard gas. The instrument is painted at the end with a special paint which, when brought in contact with mustard gas, will turn a different colour. The man is shown wearing protective clothing and his Service Respirator (illustrated and described on Card No. 31), but as he is working after the raid is over, he is not wearing his steel helmet. (No.40)


DECONTANIMATION WORKERS IN TRAINING. Decontamination Squads, each consisting of six men, would be needed to neutralize or remove the liquid contamination caused by mustard gas or some other persistent gas on streets or buildings and so on. The picture shows some men in training for decontamination work. They are wearing Service Respirators (illustrated and described on Card No. 31), gum boots and full protective clothing, with hood, because their work would take them into the thick of the gas. Two are applying a paste of bleaching powder to a splashed wall. Another is holding a hose, since part of the work will be to wash contamination from streets. (No.41)


THE AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS BADGE is made of silver and consists of the Royal Crown with the letters “A.R.P.” underneath. All members of the following A.R.P. Services are eligible for the badge, providing they are serving on a voluntary basis in peacetime, have served for at least one month and are efficient members of the organization to which they belong; First Aid and Medical Services; Rescue and Demolition Services; Decontamination Services; Air Raid Wardens; Gas Detection Officers, when organized. Women volunteers are presented with a brooch carrying the badge. (No. 42)



REPRESENTATION OF AIR DEFENCE CONTROL ROOM. All the elements of air defence are represented in the control room, including the commanders (or their representatives) of the anti-aircraft artillery, the searchlights, the balloon barrage and the fighter squadrons. They sit in a gallery overlooking the large map table. The men round the map table receive reports of enemy raids by telephone from the Observer Corps centres, who in their turn receive reports from the posts dotted about the country. The raids are plotted on the map table so that the commanders in the gallery can see at a glance the numbers of the enemy, and by what routes they are coming in. On this information orders are sent out to the Fighter Squadrons telling them where to go to intercept the enemy. (No.43)


PILOTS RUNNING TO MACHINES (INTERCEPTOR FIGHTERS) TO TAKE OFF. Aircraft are facing into wind, all ready to take off. Mechanics are waiting with the machines, ready to start up on the signal being given. Engines are run frequently to keep them warm and so ready to give full power at a moment’s notice. Pilots remain in the “Pilots’ Room” near which, if wind direction allows, the aircraft are ranged up. Pilots are partly dressed in their flying clothing. The Pilots’ Room contains facilities for resting, and also maps, meteorological reports, and all the data that they require for their flights. The patrol leader may receive his orders before he takes off, or by Radio Telephone while he is in the air. (No. 44)


GLOUCESTER GAUNTLET INTERCEPTOR FIGHTERS. Our picture shows one section of a squadron. Aircraft are in echelon left, with the leader nearest the camera, with flight commander’s markings on the tail. Aircraft are equipped with Radio Telephone (the aerials can be seen in the picture) by which pilots can talk to each other and to the ground station. They can receive their orders while in the air, and these orders can be changed as necessary to conform to the reported movements of the enemy. All pilots keep their eyes “skinned,” and search the sky above and below them for enemy. At night they watch for the tell-tale concentration of searchlight beams which indicates that an enemy has been found. (No.45)



REPRESENTAION OF BALLOON BARRAGE FOR DEFENCE OF LONDON. The balloon barrage forms an important part of the co-ordinated scheme – consisting of guns, searchlights, fighter aeroplanes and balloons – for the air defence of London. In time of war, the balloons would be disposed in a rough circle round the perimeter of London. Each balloon is attached by a steel cable to a winch on the ground by which it can be let up or hauled down to the required height. The balloon cables form a “death trap” to any enemy aeroplane colliding with them. The balloons are organized in flights and squadrons, the squadrons being on an auxiliary basis manned by volunteers with a small nucleus of fully trained regular personnel. (No.46)


ANTI-AIRCRAFT SEARCHLIGHT. The duty of anti-aircraft searchlight units is to find and illuminate enemy aircraft so that they can be attacked by our own fighter machines or fired at by anti-aircraft guns. The searchlight has a glass paraboloid reflector 36 inches in diameter and an electric arc lamp which gives a light of many millions of candle power. In fine weather the searchlight has a range of over 5 miles. The complete searchlight detachment consists of 10 men who work the searchlight, a sound locator (illustrated and described on Card No. 48) and a generating plant which provides the necessary power for the arc lamp. (No.47)


ANTI-AIRCRAFT SOUND LOCATOR. One sound locator is an essential part of the equipment of an Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Detachment and is used for directing the searchlight beam, on to a target which can only be heard. It is manned by a crew of 3. Two of these are listening numbers, one uses the pair of trumpets which gives the horizontal direction of the target, the other uses the pair which gives the vertical direction. The third member of the crew uses the sight which makes an allowance for the speed of the target; this member telephones instructions to the searchlight controller, who then moves the searchlight beam so that the target is illuminated. Large numbers of these sound locators are used in the Air Defence of Great Britain. (No.48)



THE HEIGHT FINDER is an essential part of the equipment of the Anti-Aircraft Gun Section, for on the skill of the men working it the whole success of the shooting rests. Our picture shows an instrument with a base length of 9 ft. being operated by its crew of 3, who are wearing gas masks. This is a modern instrument and is being issued in considerable quantities to Territorial Anti-Aircraft Units for Home Defence. (No.49)


AN ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN must have a high rate of fire and be capable of following the movements of the fastest bombing aircraft. The 3-inch gun shown in the picture is mounted on a mobile platform for use with the Field Army. It can throw a 16 lb. shell to 20,000 ft. in 23 seconds and can fire 20 rounds in a minute. This gun has a crew of 8. It is towed by a tractor and has a road speed of 20 miles per hour. Territorial Units for Home Defence are equipped with this gun on a fixed platform. It is, however, now being replaced by larger and more powerful equipment. (No.50)




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