Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

                                  Southend Air Raid Precautions Publications

This section of the Southend Timeline has been set up to show some of the many Air Raid Precautions Publications that were published throughout the Second World War.

The articles that appear here are photograhs of orginals held by the Southend Timeline.

The Air Raid Precautions (ARP)

The Air Raid Precautions (ARP) were a dedicated unit to aid the protection of civilians from air-raids, it was originally founded in 1924 over fears of an aerial bombing campaign against the United Kingdom. 

The ARP published countless bulletins throughout the Second World War detailing to the ARP on how to deal with incidents during air-raids.

At the outbreak of war some 1.5 million people were in the ARP (later named Civil Defence)

The first ARP posts were set up in a shop, office even a volunteers house, later in the war dedicated ARP posts were set up.

As no major German air-raids followed the declaration of war in September 1939 the ARP mainly concentrated on checking papers and enforcing the blackout.

When an air-raid siren was sounded, the wardens would direct people to the nearest shelter, they would then patrol their sector checking nobody was out on the streets, check on people in shelters and make sure that no lights were showing through blackout curtains.  They done this at great risk as falling bombs, flying shrapnel and collapsing buildings were all around.

At the sounding of the all clear the ARP Wardens would normally be the first on the scene of bombing sites, they would carry any immediate first aid and deal with any small fires they would also direct emergency services.

Only a small number of ARP wardens were full-time paid members, the vast majority were part-time volunteers who carried out their ARP duties as well as full-time jobs.

It is difficult to pin down how many people were in the ARP in Southend but each and everyone of them dedicated their time and risked their live to protect those that were still living in Southend for their actions throughout the war years we should all be very very thankfull.


1. 24th August 1940: General Notice, (Two pages three sides) (added 26 Feb)



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