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1 Elmsleigh Road, Staines TW18 4PM
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!
The 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
Our 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.