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The webmaster, Pat Cryer, as a young child

The British World War Two
home front in ARP cigarette card pictures

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About cigarette cards and cigarette card albums

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Front cover of the cigarette card album on preparations for the World War Two homefront,thumbnail

The front cover of the cigarette card album.

Inside front cover of the cigarette card album on preparations for the World War Two homefront with a message from the then home secretary.

The inside front cover, with a message from the then home secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt.

Layout of pages of the cigarette card album on preparations for the World War Two homefront

Layout of pages.

For many years it was the practice for cigarette manufacturers to put what was called a 'cigarette card'; inside each packet of cigarettes. There were various themes to the cards, and children would pressurise adults to buy more cigarettes so that they could collect complete sets. Presumably this increased sales, which was why the cigarette manufacturers bothered with the practice - and indeed why it has now been discontinued! On one side of the cards was a picture and on the other some written information about the picture. Albums for the sets of cards could be bought very cheaply from tobacconists.

This page shows a set of cigarette cards on the theme of protecting the home front from the air raids of the Second World War. The set was produced by the cigarette company 'Wills', in collaboration with the ARP (Air Raid Precautions), an organisation dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air-raids. The album was photographed in Lincolnsfields Children's Centre in Bushey.

In 1939 leaflets describing the preparations 'if war should come' were distributed to the public.

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World War Two home front - themed cigarette cards

The following pictures are close to their actual size, as they had to fit into a packet of ten cigarettes.

Types of splinter-proof wall: brick; rubble in corrugate iron and cardboard boxes of rubble, to protect against bomb blast, as recommended for civilian protection in World War Two

Types of splinter-proof wall: brick; rubble in corrugate iron and cardboard boxes of rubble, to protect against bomb blast.

External protection for a 'refuge room' with sandbags stacked outside, as recommended for civilian protection in World War Two

Protecting walls and windows of a 'refuge room' with sandbags stacked outside, to protect against bomb blast.

Equipping a 'refuge room': the area for living, eating, drinking, reading and listening to the radio, as recommended for civilian protection in World War Two

Equipping a 'refuge room': the area for living, eating, drinking, reading and listening to the radio.

Equipping a 'refuge room': the area for sleeping and washing, as recommended for civilian protection in World War Two

Equipping a 'refuge room': the area for sleeping and washing.
  

Stage in the production of an Anderson shelter in a back garden.

Stage in the production of an Anderson shelter in a back garden. This one has an extra gas-proof filtration facility which can be worked by electrical or manual treadle labour.

Second World War French-style inflatable 'balloon' shelter

French-style inflatable 'balloon' shelter. Said to be quick to inflate but expensive. [I think it very unlikely that it would be quick to inflate!]
  

Putting out a Second World War incendiary bomb with water from a hose pipe.

Putting out an incendiary bomb with water from a hose pipe.

Carrying water in a buckets in a human chain to put out fires in the Second World War

Carrying water in a buckets
in a human chain.

A World War Two manual water pump for use with two people

A type of manual pump for two people.
  

A World War Two lorry for laying hose pipe

A hose-laying lorry.
  

World War Two emergency heavy pump unit.

Emergency heavy pump unit.
  

World War Two medium-weight power pump in action

A medium-weight power pump in action.
  

World War Two medium-weight power pump in action

A medium-weight power pump in action.
  

A World War Two power pump for towing on a car trailer

A power pump for towing on a car trailer.
  

A World War Two civilian gas mask

Gas mask (known as a respirator) for civilians.

How to put on and adjust a Second World War gas mask.

How to put on and adjust a gas mask.
  

World War Two air raid wardens with a civilian despatch driver

Air raid wardens with a civilian despatch driver.

Second World War volunteer mobile corps of owner drivers

Volunteer mobile corps of owner drivers.
  

A World War Two gas first aid party

A first aid party.
  

World War Two civilian anti-gas school

Civilian anti-gas school.
  

World War Two mobile gas vans.

Mobile gas vans.
  

World War Two decontamination workers in training

Decontamination workers in training.
  

World War Two Air Defence Control Room

Air Defence Control Room.
  

World War Two searchlight for the Anti-Aircraft Gun Section

Anti-Aircraft search light.
  

World War Two Air height finder for the Anti-Aircraft Gun Section.

A height finder for the Anti-Aircraft Gun Section.

A light-weight and portable Second World War fire extinguisher

A light-weight, portable fire extinguisher.
  

Putting out a Second World War incendiary bomb by scooping it into a container which could be carried out of the house

Putting out an incendiary bomb by scooping it into a portable container.





Inside a gas-proofed shelter of the Second World War, with the gas filter worked by a treadle

Inside a gas-proofed shelter.

A World War Two light-weight power pump in action

A light-weight power pump in action.

World War Two supply depot for gas masks

Supply depot for gas masks.

How to put on and adjust a World War Two gas mask

How to take off a gas mask.

World War Two Civilian duty gas mask

Civilian duty gas mask.

Testing for gas contamination in World War Two

Testing for gas contamination.

Rubber clothing as worn by civilians in the Second World War

Rubber clothing.
  

World War Two anti-aircraft gun

Anti-Aircraft gun.
  

World War Two fighter pilots running to take off

Pilots running to take off.
  

Second World War incendiary bomb

How to recognise an incendiary bomb which causes fires.

A World War Two stirrup pump in use.

A manual pump known as a 'stirrup pump'.

World War Two Gloucester Gauntlet interception fighter planes

Gloucester Gauntlet interception fighter planes.

World War Two anti-aircraft barrage balloons for the defence of London

Anti-Aircraft barrage balloons for the defence of London.

Heavy duty World War Two gas mask for the services

Gas mask for the services - with a longer active period than civilian gas masks.

World War Two badge of Air Raid Precautions

The badge of Air Raid Precautions, a civilian service.

Windows of strengthened glass and celluloid to prevent shattering, as recommended for civilian protection in World War Two

Window of strengthened glass (left) and celluloid (right) to prevent shattering.

World War Two sound locator for the Anti-Aircraft Gun Section

Anti-Aircraft sound locator.