September 1935, Stanley Baldwin the Prime Minister,
issued a circular entitled Air Raid Precautions
~ARP~ which suggested local authorities should
make plans to protect their people in the event
of a war. This included the building of public
air raid shelters. (Anderson or Morrison.)
In April 1937, two years before WW2 began, the
government created an Air Raid Wardens' Service
and recruited around 200,000 volunteers. By the
end of the war there had been 1.4 million ARP
wardens in Britain, mostly part time volunteers
who had other full time day jobs.
These volunteers were known as Air Raid Precaution
Wardens and their main role was to protect civilians
from the danger of air~raids. They would patrol
the streets during blackouts, to ensure that no
light was visible. If a light was seen, the warden
would alert the householder and they would have
to cover the chink of light. Often the warden
would do this by shouting loudly!
ARP Wardens were issued with a helmet with the
letter 'W' upon it, a whistle and/or a wooden
rattle, a hooded torch and canteen of water.
Rattle would have been used to warn people of
a gas-attack. The Warden would go through all
streets in the sector which may be affected, sounding
the rattles more or less continuously.