WW2 : records of air raid precautions (ARP)
A resident of Shepshed, Mr. Ralph Hillyer has kindly lent us the original weekly log of Hathern's wardens from 1943 to 1945. You can read this in full here. Amongst the topics covered are :-
- Notification to Fire Service of planes in danger of crashing
- Ringing of church bells to warn of imminent invasion
- Communal air raid shelters including one at top of Wide St.
- Reporting of bombs within 5 miles
- Technical deatails of the lastest bombs being used by the enemy
- The work of wardens and Home Guard in event of invasion - using the watchword WANDA (Where are they ? What Arms have they ? What Numbers have they ? What Direction ? What Action to be taken ?
A real flavour of the concern about invasion can be gained from the following extract of May 5th 1943 of a talk attended by the Head Warden, Mr Screaton : "Mortuary services might be called upon to assist each other in case of blitz, and that wardens could be valuable in identification and labelling. Nothing was to be removed from the person of a casualty. Identity card is not 100% proof of identity. The lecturer remarked on the advisabilityof making a will". Included within the pages of the log is a letter sent to all members of the warden service on May 2nd 1945 authorising the standing down of the warden's service "now that the tide of war has at last receded from the homes of the people". Further information about Hathern's ARP wardens can be found in this extract from the Hathern at war booklet published in 2003 by the hathern History Society.