Object Lesson VIII
Creating the Hospital Air Raid Precaution (ARP) Squad
The Hospital created its own Air Raid Precaution (ARP) squad from the staff team which was independent of similar arrangements in the local area. The Clerk of Works did a course to enable him to deliver all forms of anti-gas training to staff. The House Engineer did a course in firefighting and took command of the Hospital’s unit and trained male members of what they called, the “artisan” staff (gardeners, labourers, stokers, carpenters etc), who were not eligible for military service. At the start of the war there were very few men in the Hospital at night so the ARP squad formed “inlying pickets”. The squad was originally 24 men (12 for day and 12 for night). By 1940/1 some male nurses were added to the squad and it was reformed into eight groups each consisting of 5 members plus a squad leader.
If an emergency occurred during the day all staff were expected to remain on duty until it was over. If an air raid occurred at night all staff in the vicinity, including flats and staff houses, had to report for duty to their respective units.