Air Raid Precautions

Marylebone Borough Council Air Raid Precautions department (ARP) recorded messages on printed forms which are by now yellow and fragile. Written in pencil, dated and giving the time on a 24 hour clock, they were for immediate action. Shouted orders. Running feet. Nobody thought of posterity looking back at them decades later. The terse messages  give a sense of urgency to these sad relics that more sober, written records lack.

The Junkers 88
Here are a few examples from September 1940 to June 1941
12.9.40 Unexploded incendiary bomb Christchurch Buildings attic. Police cannot reach it as they have no ladder. Alerting Fire Brigade.
12.9.40 Fire in Penfold Street is out.
29.10.40  Barclays Bank corner Church Street and Edgware Road. Casualties
29.10.41 Minor bombing. 1 casualty.
11.5.41 Lisson Street. Bagley's oil shop completely demolished - Rescue squads sent - Police to be warned – no fire - canteen required.
17.5.41 Fire in Church Street very extensive. Police calling Fire Brigade
11.5.41 Stretcher party to Miles Buildings
11.5.41 Church Street - Repair parties - send barriers to fence off dangerous wall. Road blocked - crater outside shelter - Gas mains alight.
24.6.41 56  Penfold Street. Rescue squad
30.6. 41 Rescue squad 62-68 Church Street. All electrical mains are completely dead. Stretcher parties needed - - - poles and trestles to be sent - - - ambulance required.
28.6.41 Rescue squad 107 Bell Street.

And so they go on, street after street , faded pencil on yellowed paper, for year after year Together, they are very moving.


Lisson Grove


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Updated January 23, 2011