Lapel badge Silver 1936 ARP

sterling silver marked

€ 20,00

Air Raid Precautions (ARP) was an organisation in the United Kingdom set up as an aid in the prelude to the Second World Wardedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air-raids. It was created in 1924 as a response to the fears about the growing threat from the development of bomber aircraftGiulio Douhet had published his influential Command of the Air in 1921 and his main thesis had been memorably taken into English as "the bomber will always get through". Many of the practices and ideals set forth by the ARP lived on beyond the War through Civil Defence during the Cold war and still exist today in civilian organizations in the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the Second World War, the ARP was responsible for the issuing of gas masks, pre-fabricated air-raid shelters (such as Anderson shelters, as well as Morrison shelters), the upkeep of local public shelters, and the maintenance of the blackout. The ARP also helped rescue people after air raids and other attacks, and some women became ARP Ambulance Attendants whose job was to help administer first aid to casualties, search for survivors, and in many grim instances, help recover bodies, sometimes those of their own colleagues.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists members of the ARP within its casualty reports for civilian war dead. The Hamilton Road Cemeteryin Deal, Kent has the graves of two serving ARP members, one who died on duty during an air raid in 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain, and an Ambulance Attendant who was killed by a cross-channel shelling attack in 1944.

As the war progressed, the effectiveness of aerial bombardment was, beyond the destruction of property, very limited. There were less than three casualties for each ton of bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe in many British cities and the expected social consequences hardly happened. The morale of the British people remained high, 'shell-shock' was not at all common, and the rates of other nervous and mental ailments declined.

During the war the ARP was headquartered at Baylis House in Slough, Buckinghamshire. With the development of the Civil Defence Service in 1941, the main function of the ARP fell within the remit of this organisation. However, the term remained in usage and on signage throughout the war. Although disbanded in 1946, the functions of the ARP were revived as part of the Civil Defence Corps formed in 1949.


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