Title ID 11850Collection ID1509
Date1939; 1940
CollectionJohn Clague
ThemeWartime And Military Public Services Case Study The Home Front
KeywordsArmed Forces Civil Defence Second World War (1939-1945) Wars Communities Health Services Parades Uniforms
LocalHerne Bay
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJohn Clague
CameraJohn Clague
ParticipantsMr Northover
Format9.5mm Black & White Silent
Duration19 min. 49 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details.


This film shows the work of the Herne Bay A.R.P. service during the early years of the Second World War. ARP Members train for bomb and gas-attacks; practising extinguishing incendiary devices and simulating the treatment of casualties. The film also shows a large-scale dress rehearsal for a gas attack and a multi-service parade.


The film starts with a title sequence stating: John C. Clague Presents; A.R.P.

September 3rd 1939 War Declared

Some of the evacuees arrive. Groups of children accompanied by adults are seen walking along Station Road, from Spenser Road towards the town centre.

Fire Service at work, how to extinguish an incendiary bomb

Members of the fire service are seen operating equipment and attempting to extinguish a burning incendiary bomb.

At the coastal road

A group of women sit in deck chairs and a group of men sit on the ground outside a hut with the words 'Herne Bay' painted on the side. A woman arrives with a shopping bag.

At the ambulance station

First Aid training exercises take place. A man acting as a casualty lying on the ground is tended to by people in protective suits and gas masks. The casualty is also wearing a gas mask as he is tended to. The men smile and shake hands after the exercise is finished. A mock casualty is carried on a stretcher. At Underdown Road a door is seen surrounded by sandbags with a sign reading 'First Aid Post 160 yds' i

Squad Drill Nov. 16th 1939

A group of men and women are seen marching and carrying out drill practice. A series of titles read: "These people are on duty night & day; and are fully trained; we might get this" followed by a montage of war-time images including: an aircraft flying overhead, an incendiary device exploding; the fire brigade leaving the fire station; scenes of bomb-damaged buildings with mock casualties lying in the rubble, including women and children. Further rescue exercises take place with men carrying the mock casualties by stretcher to a trailer with 'Herne bay ARP Casualty Service' printed on it. Women and men in the Casualty Service tend to the victims.

The Protest Meeting; Chairman Mr Northover

A gathering of people stand on the sea front to hear a speech.

Wednesday Jan. 10th First Aid Parties and Mobile Unit combine in big exercise

Men emerge from a house carrying blankets. A further title reads: The 'Casualties' keep warm. A group of men are seen playing leapfrog . A lorry marked 'First Aid Mobile Unit' arrives and women emerge from the truck to tend to the casualties, some of which are then loaded into the ARP trailers.

Feb. 29th 1940 Combined practice at 'Silver Slipper'

A group of people are seen assembling outside a house, formally the Silver Slipper night club, in Bullockstone Road. A car arrives containing men wearing gas masks who make their way into the burned out house, they secure the area and put up a 'Danger Gas' sign. A path by he house is hosed down and brushed and white powder is spread around. Casualties are seen being rescued, one from an upstairs room..

Practice at 'Mandala' Broomfield Road

Casualties are tended to and some are carried on stretchers.

March 10th 1940 Members of local A.R.P. inspect Ramsgate's unique tunnels

A group of people assemble outside a building by a sign which reads 'Entrance to sea caves'. They make their way into the tunnels reappearing by the sea. Signs reading 'Public Tunnel Shelter' and 25 steps. A group of people emerge from the tunnel and climb the steps. The film switches to a scene of men playing football possibly in Victoria Park.

Sunday April 7th Herne Bay F.A.P. pose for group while at original strength

A group portrait shot of men and women wearing red cross arm bands is taken with a sign reading "HBUDC ARP Casualty Services 1st Line Ambulance First Aid Party Sections"

Sunday April 14th The biggest test to date - over 100 casualties

ARP trailers are seen being driven along a street. Two men stand by a telephone box followed by a group in gas masks. A lorry is then seen driving along a street. Casualties are taken into a building with signs outside indicating separate Male and Female first aid treatment rooms and an entrance for 'Females Gas Cleansing Treatment'. Other casualties wearing gas masks are placed in various vehicles including a laundry van.

Fatigues ... Car Cleaning

A vehicle is seen being painted while another is being washed

The new mobile unit under construction

A vehicle is seen being painted probably while people in army uniforms are seen training in the park in the background.

'Break period'

Three women are seen sitting knitting, a group of men and women play mahjong outside. A group work at various gardening activities, including lawn maintenance.

At Garnett's Garage

A group of men carry out maintenance on vehicles.

Sunday May 5th ARP Service feature in church parade

Groups of men, women and children from various organisations are seen marching by the junction of William Street and High Street. The groups include women in WRVS and Red Cross nurse uniforms along with men in ARP uniforms and the boys brigade. Various scenes of the parade members and onlookers include posters in the background including "Your Courage Your...[Cheerfulness Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory]" The film ends with people from various organisation conversing and departing. Title: The end


A still from A.R.P. (1939)A still from A.R.P. (1939)A still from A.R.P. (1939)