The threat of invasion during the Second World War led to
units of Local Defence Volunteers (later known as the Home Guard) being formed
to support the regular Army in the event of attack. Air Raid Precaution (ARP) units had
already been set up before 1939, with ARP patrols locating bomb “incidents” and co-ordinating
responses by fire and rescue services.
Police, Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS), heavy
rescue and stretcher teams were often needed to recover the dead and wounded from buildings damaged
by air raids. Women served alongside men in a range of civil defence roles.
The new Marton Gasworks, Blackpool,
1940. The gasworks were bombed by the Germans on September 18th, 1940, a low-flying
bomber swooped at dusk from the rain-clouds and dropped 20 incendiary bombs around the
They were gallantly extinguished by the fireguards before any serious damage was