The Wartime Memories Project - British Air Raid Wardens - ARP

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Air Raid Protection Wardens were appointed through out Britain to assist the Police in protecting the public during air raids. In September 1935, as the possibility of a war increased, the British prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, published a circular entitled Air Raid Precautions (ARP) inviting local authorities to make plans to protect their people in event of a war.

In April 1937 the government decided to create an Air Raid Wardens' Service and during the next year recruited around 200,000 volunteers.

The duties of an Air Raid Warden included: Ensuring that the blackout was observed, sounding air raid sirens, ensuring that people went into public air raid shelters in an orderly fashion, checking gas masks, evacuating areas around unexploded bombs as well as helping to rescue casualties from bomb damaged properties, finding accomodation for people who had been bombed out, judging the extent and type of damage and informing the Control Centre to send out the rescue services.

There were ARP wardens in many other countries.

If you served as an Air Raid Protection Warden we would love to hear from you.

Please contact us:

My father John (Jack) Rockman, was an air raid warden in the East End of London during the Second World War. He died in 1945 of cancer, the family curse which I myself have now. I was an only child and my mother lost contact with all my father's family so I know nothing about him. I would love to know if you have him on record and what air raid shelter he was in charge of. Especially so that I can tell his 10 great grandchildren about him. My mother also died of cancer more than 30 years ago. All searches I have made have been fruitless. Elisabeth Segal

My Aunt Edie, in her early thirties, became an air-raid warden for the duration of the war. A little lady of only about four foot ten, but must have been of real great stature to brave all the years of the blitz.

Edith Lewis, my Aunt Edie, when she was in the Civil Defence as an air-raid warden during the London blitz.

Albert Dugdale

List of those who served as Air Raid Protection Wardens.

  • Norman Darling Black B.E.M. (ARP, First Aid Party, Tynemouth) Read his story
  • Mr Baker (Thornton Heath) Read his story
  • Barbara Betts (London)
  • Clarence Burdis G.M. (Leader, ARP Rescue Party, Tynemouth) Read his story
  • Mr Brannen (North Shields)
  • Mrs Brannen (North Shields)
  • Chief Warden. Coun. W.R. Forster. (North Shields)
  • Miss Margaret J. Howells. (Cardiff)
  • Gwyneth Johnson. (North Shields) Read her story
  • Mrs Jones. (Shrewsbury)
  • J.A. Kershaw (Rochdale)
  • Mrs Ellen Lee. Read her story
  • Edith Lewis (London) Read her Story
  • Jimmy McNamara. (Shrewsbury)
  • Rev. James Mackay (Highgate, North London.) Read his story
  • George Newstead G.M.(Leader, ARP Rescue Party, Tynemouth)Read his story
  • Eric Reece. (Shrewsbury)
  • Reg Reece. (Shrewsbury)
  • Cyril Richardson (Coventry)
  • Mary Richardson (Coventry) Read her story
  • John "Jack" Rockman. (East End of London) Read his Story
  • Redvers James Rose (North Shields) Read his story
  • Westall (North Shields)
  • James Wilson (Manchester)
  • Jack Western. (Shipley) Read his story
  • Lewis Western. Senior Warden (Shipley) Read his story

If you have any names to add to this list please add their details.

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