WW2 2: ARP Warden
The letters ARP stand for Air Raid Protection.
This broken sign once marked the position of an Air Raid Warden Post in Folkestone.
In World War 2 the job of an Air Raid Warden was to make sure people quickly got to the shelters when the siren sounded, so they were safe from the bombing.
There were many public air raid shelters in Folkestone.
Some people had Anderson shelters in their gardens, made of corrugated iron. Another type of protection was a Morrison Shelter, a thick steel-topped table surrounded by wire mesh, inside their home.
Each street had at least one Air Raid Warden, and both men and women did the job.
They wore a Black helmet with a large W on the front which stood for Warden and carried a whistle, gas rattle.
Air Raid Wardens were also trained to put out small fires, report people who failed to observe the Blackout, and administer first aid to casualties.
This is an Air Raid Warden’s whistle. It was blown to warn people of an air raid.
Government advice stated…
When air raids are threatened, warning will be given in towns by sirens or hooters, which will be sounded, in some places by short blasts, and in other places by a warbling note, changing every few seconds. The warning may also be given by the Police or Air Raid Wardens blowing short blasts on whistles. When you hear the warning, take cover at once.
Over 1 million ARP whistles were issued in World War 2 - all made by J Hudson & Co of Birmingham - whose factory was bombed in a 1941 air raid. Thankfully no one was hurt.