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!
Wardens were issued with a helmet with the letter 'W' upon
it, a whistle and/or a wooden rattle, a hooded torch and canteen
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.