During WWII, the American homefront was separated from the war front. There were no battles fought on American soil. Not so for the British people. They did not suffer invastion, but England was bombed on repeated occasions. The piercing sound of air raid sirens became a daily occurrence – sometimes multiple times a day. As a result, citizens had to regularly protect themselves from falling debris or buildings. There were several options available.
England's Ministry of Home Security issued a pamphlet “Your Home as an Air Raid Shelter” that uses over twenty pages of text, diagrams and photographs to describe how a house could be altered to keep inhabitants safe. Instructions covered everything from a “garden shelter” (an open trench) to a “refuge room.” A companion piece written by the Welfare Adviser to London, Mrs. Creswick Atkinson, was entitled “A.R.P at Home – Hints for Housewives.” It asked questions such as “Is your shelter clean and always ready for use?” Certainly an area of housekeeping I had not considered!
Morrison shelters were named after Herbert Morrison, the Minister of Home Security at the time. Each shelter had a cage-like construction beneath it and were used inside the house. They were approximately 6 ½ feet long, 4 feet wide and 2 ½ feet high There was a solid 1/8 in steel plate “table” top, welded wire mesh sides, and a metal lath “mattress”- type floor. Altogether it had 359 parts and had 3 tools supplied with the pack with which to assemble it. (Not a good choice if you weren't mechanically inclined, or if you were in the least bit claustrophobic!)
Something to think about.
Post a Comment