Second World War: Air Raid Precautions

What were Air Raid Precautions?

Air Raid Precautions (ARP) began in Hull a few years prior to the start of war due to the unstable situation in Europe. The Munich Crisis in 1938 saw ARP around the country become more active and raised awareness amongst the public. Despite war being averted on this occasion, the ARP committee continued their work to prepare the city for the possible outbreak of war.

In 1941, Air Raid Precautions officially changed to Civil Defence though the former term was also still used. When looking for records online, search on both terms.

Who was responsible for Hull's Air Raid Precautions?

Different departments of Hull Corporation were involved in Civil Defence work with the City Engineer's Department playing one of the largest roles in the operational issues and administration.

How can I find out more about the Civil Defence Service's role in the protection of Hull?

The records at C TSCD make up the City Engineer's Civil Defence collection. The records include the development of Hull's Air Raid Precautions scheme which included looking at the schemes of other cities.

This department also played a significant part in the erection of air raid shelters around the city, including their locations, construction and furnishing, such as signage, beds and sanitation (C TSCD/25-37; 155-157; 290; 337-339 and 392-580).

There are also files dealing with the disposal of shelters and other Civil Defence structures after the war (C TSCD/610-664). They were also responsible for sandbags for use in bomb protection and the maintenance and repair of roads and utilities.

Other records in this collection show the department's involvement with the recruitment, training and administration of volunteers. There are several files on large scale exercises that took place in the city to prepare members of the service for any eventuality. (C TSCD/227-239 and 375).