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Protecting the people and preparing for an enemy invasion…
                          Defending the Nation
                                By Martin Williams
    Aberdare




                           Griffithstown




On to study the Fire Service               Pontypool
                    Are you surprised by the age of some of these men?
                                        Explain your answer carefully.




                                              Click here to enlarge picture

Aberdare Home Guard – Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Libraries: W.W. Price Collection
                                Another photograph of the Aberdare Home Guard




Aberdare Home Guard – Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Libraries: W.W. Price Collection
Aberdare Home Guard – Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Libraries: W.W. Price Collection
                          Griffithstown Home Guard, South Wales

     Can you note any similarities between the Griffithstown and Aberdare
                               Home Guard Units?
Picture courtesy of Torfaen Museum Trust
                  Look at the uniforms of the men of the Home Guard.
    What do you notice and what does this tell you about the resources
 available to the Home Guard - especially during the early days of the war?




                      March Past of the Home Guard at Pontypool Park


Picture courtesy of Torfaen Museum Trust
          Who do you think these people are and what are they wearing?




 Do you think that this type of training was particularly necessary between
                             the years 1939-45?




Photo taken from Picture Post, February 22nd, 1941, „An Early Stage of Training‟.
                                                        What do the following stand for?


                                                        NFS -


                                                        AFS -



Pictures taken with the kind permission of Torfaen Museum Trust
By the start of the war over 60,000 volunteers had signed up for
the Auxiliary Fire Service. There were only 6,000 professional
firemen and these often resented the help of the auxiliary force.



Many men from the auxiliary fire service were called up to fight
during 1939-40 and so the number of firemen in Britain began to
dwindle. However, during the Blitz it was recognised that more
auxiliaries were desperately needed. These men were hastily trained
and were forced to work long hours in dangerous conditions. They
soon won the respect of professional firemen nationwide.
                                                                             A formal cap and
                                                                              safety helmet.




                                                            A fire fighters tunic with NFS
                                                                  badge and buttons.




Pictures with the kind permission of Torfaen Museum Trust
“I was already in the Auxiliary Fire Service in Cardiff when war
broke out. When the war clouds started gathering, they began to
get volunteers into the AFS. Then, when war came, the AFS men
became permanent firemen. I became a police fireman and lived
in the docks police station. You have to understand that the
National Fire Service wasn‟t in existence then.”
                                     John Walsh quoted in Wales at War by Phil Carradice
                                                                          (Gomer 2003)



 Why do you think that so many men were asked to become „permanent‟
                  firemen towards the end of 1939?
 “We had no experience of fires, none at all really, just some
 little chimney fires. All we had on the machines were ordinary
 nozzles for water, jets and stuff like that, not the equipment
 they‟ve got today. I‟ve often said that, at that time, all we had
 was a bit of brains, a bit of guts. That was all.”
                                  Wyndham Scourfield quoted in Wales at War by Phil Carradice
                                                                               (Gomer 2003)

 Think about the types of fires and incidents that firemen may be called
             out to deal with during the Second World War.

How brave must these firemen (many of whom were volunteers) have been?
So, what have we
  learnt about
The Home Guard
and Fire Service?
  1939 - 1945

				
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