A wealth of practical information from a Mrs Creswick Atkinson. This 1941 booklet was aimed at housewives in World War II. In the case of an air raid or the possibility of such you either went to to your own air raid shelter (often an Anderson shelter), a public shelter or 'a table indoor shelter' or refuge room. If sheltering under a table you had to be sure it was the bottom floor or basement. The booklet is good on children and pets (although a child is often referred to as 'it') and says several times that they should be sent to the country, something not always possible. There is advice on gas attacks, incendiary bombs and even what to do if being machine gunned by an enemy plane:
Do not run away from the plane. Throw yourself down on your face at once. If you have to run, run towards the plane, not from it.
In case your house is bombed:
1. Pack a suitcase of spare clothing and keep it at a friend's house in another part of town.
2. Arrange with a friend at the opposite end of your street or in another part of the town to give you hospitality for a short time in case of need.
3. Arrange with a relative to take you in until you can return to your house or find other quarters.
There is the usual advice about not spreading rumours and to 'keep cheerful yourself, and keep others cheerful too. A long face does not help anyone, but a cheerful face always makes the day seem brighter.' In fact 'Keep Calm and Carry on!'
|Entering an air raid shelter (gas masks in boxes)|
Is your shelter clean and always ready for use?
Do you take part in keeping things clean and neat if you use a public or communal shelter?
Try to do your share and feel that you have a certain responsibility for the way in which the shelter is kept.
If you have an Anderson shelter in your garden, is the earth covering thick enough ?
Is the back well covered with earth as well as the top and sides ?
The earth covering should be 15 inches deep on the top, 30 inches thick at the sides, and 30 inches deep at the back. It is the earth covering which protects, not the steel walls.
Is the entrance protected by a wall, barricade, or the wall of a house not more than 15 feet away from it ?
This protection can be made of bricks or of earth raised to a height of at least 3 feet 6 inches, and it should be 13 inches thick if brick, 30 inches thick if earth.
Do go and look at your shelter and see whether the earth really is thick enough–if it is not remedy matters now–you may be thankful some day.
Have you padded the top of the entrance so that heads will not suffer when getting inside in a hurry ?
Is your Anderson shelter dry ?
If the earth covering is not thick enough, and not properly rammed down, you may have temporary flooding from surface water.
Leakage can often be cured by taking off the top part of the earth covering and replacing it (using more earth if necessary) in layers of 4 inches or 5 inches, ramming each layer well down, or treading it down, before putting on the next. Make the side slopes even and beat them with a spade.
If you have any old linoleum it is a good plan to lay it over the surface, and replace the top layers of earth over it.
You should dig channels round the limits of the earth covering to take the surface water away.
Leakage of rain water into the shelter through the top and sides can be stopped by clay puddling. Mix any stiff soil with water to the consistency of dough and plaster all over and round the joists of the shelter, afterwards replacing the earth cover, well rammed down.
If you find that water still leaks in through the joints of the corrugated iron sheets, caulk them from the inside with rope or old rags soaked in heavy oil or tar.
Perhaps surface water is finding its way through the floor. If it is, dig a sump 1 foot deep in one corner of the shelter near the entrance.
The water will drain into it and you can remove it by baling, but keep the hole covered when you are in the shelter.
You can help towards keeping things dry by covering the floor with a layer bricks with linoleum over them.
It is a wise plan, before you try to get your shelter dry, to ask for advice from your local council. Their experts will know what is the matter and whether the trouble can be cured by your own efforts. If it cannot, they will do the work for you.
Is your shelter draughty ?
You can cure this by arranging a screen at the entrance or by hanging curtains in front of the bunks.
Are bunks installed in your shelter ? Do you know that the four adults and two children can sleep comfortably in a standard Anderson shelter ?
You may find it quicker, if you have a handy man about the house, to make bunks for the shelter at home. Consult your local authority. The local council's expert may be able to advise you.
Have you provided lighting in your shelter ?
You can get a good light from candle lamps or a night light, but see that no light can be seen from the outside. Don't use oil lamps, they may get upset either by accident or as a result of an explosion nearby. Don't sleep with a light in the shelter, it may make the air foul, and when you are asleep you won't know this is happening.
Before you settle down to sleep, put the lights out and air the shelter.
You may not sleep well if you don't do this.
Brick Street Shelters
If a brick street shelter has been allotted to you, have you made the most of it ?
Such a shelter can easily be made into a place where you can spend the night hours not only in comfort and security, but under conditions where your health and the health of your family will not suffer.
Have bunks been installed and lighting put in ?
Many local authorities will do this or show you how to do it.
You should enquire at your council offices.
Has the shelter been fitted with a door and lock and key ?
Ask for this if it has not been done.
Have you painted or colour-washed the walls, and whitewashed the ceiling ?
If will appear much more homelike if you can do this. When dealing with the walls use a light colour, such as pale yellow ; a dark or bright colour will make the shelter seem smaller.
Do you take a coal, coke, or any other type of brazier into the shelter at night ?
Never do this. Such stoves are dangerous, except under a good chimney.
Don't use oil stoves at night either ; they too may be a source of danger.
Do you know that anything which burns uses up the oxygen in the air which you breathe ?
To prevent danger from bad air your shelter should be kept well ventilated.
Never close up the ventilation openings in the walls. To do so is even worse than sleeping in a room where the windows are shut tight and the chimney, keyhole, etc., blocked up.
Have you thought of a safe way of heating your shelter ?
You won't want heat in the summer, but in winter the best way to keep warm is by using a hot water bottle or a hot brick in your bed.
Another way to obtain heat is to use a "flower-pot stove." You will need two large flower pots and a candle for this.
- Fix the candle at one side of the hole in the bottom of one of the pots (don't place it over the hole), and stand the flower pot on something which will raise it from the ground ; three empty cotton reels of the same size do very well.
- Light the candle and put the second flower pot upside down on the top of the first.
- If you want to keep a kettle hot, place a metal curtain ring on the top and stand the kettle on it.
This candle stove does not use up enough oxygen to be dangerous, and as the top flower pot warms up, heat will be given off.
Have you covered the floor of your shelter ?
Coconut matting or rugs are the best sort of covering. Don't use linoleum, damp may result.
Is your shelter damp, and if so have you informed your local authority ? You should ; they will put it right for you.
To get the walls inside dry after it has been put right you can use and oil stove during the day. Take it out at night.
Do you realise how convenient a shelter of this type can be ?
Instead of keeping children up late, they can be put to bed in the shelters in good time and are close enough for you to be able to keep an eye on them.
Have you thought of forming your own street shelter "communities "?
You could start a library, children's play groups, handicraft classes study circles, and perhaps start a little choral society or hold "sing-songs."
Ask your local authority whether you may use two disused shelters in the street for this purpose.
You could link up with the Fire Guards, perhaps. You won't need this sort of activity in the summer, but when the dark days come you will be glad of something to keep you all cheerful and happy ; so make plans now.
Are you a member of the W.V.S. Housewives Service ?
If you are you could interest other members of the Service in the idea of street shelter " communities," and together could plan what could be done and how it could be done.
Ask your Post Air Raid Warden whether there is any official who could advise you about this, and if there is not, consult the W.V.S. Centre Organiser in your district. Ask the Council Offices where she can be found.
If you have or are having a table indoor shelter, do you know where it should be placed in the house ?
Such a shelter must be placed on the floor of the basement or cellar, or if you have no basement or cellar, on the ground floor. It must never be used on a floor which has another floor below it.
Have you thought of covering it with a tablecloth or sheet before settling down for the night ?
A covering of this kind may serve to protect you somewhat from dust if your house is damaged as a result of high explosive.
There is a Ministry of Home Security booklet, "Shelter at Home," price 3d. from any newsagent, which tells you all about these things, including how to make a refuge room.
Brick or Concrete Garden Shelters
Have you done all you can to make your shelter confortable ?
Almost all the suggestions made for the Brick Street Shelters apply equally well to a garden shelter of this type.
Have you protected your window glass against splintering if you still have any glass to protect ?
You should do this, and as soon as possible. More injuries are still cause in this way than in any other.
Do you know how to do it?
- Cut pieces of net or old lace curtains slightly larger than the pane to be covered.
- Paste these pieces on to the glass so that there is an overlap on to the frame.
A good paste can be made in this way :—
Take 2 level tablespoonsfuls of flour, plain or self-raising, and 3 teaspoonfuls of cold water. Mix the flour and water into a smooth paste. Stir in a piece of washing-soda the size of an almond. Add ½ pint of boiling water and stir briskly. Cook in a double saucepan for ten minutes and use hot.
- Wet the material thoroughly with the paste.
- Spread it on to the pane to be covered.
- Work on it with a clean brush.
If you prefer it, there are several types of window varnish which you can use instead.
Are you learning to curb your curiosity ? For instance, would you still go to this window or into the street if you heard gunfire ?
Never do this. Keep away from the windows ; this means placing yourself where you cannot see out.
Don't sit or lie underneath or in front of a window which has a glass in it.
If you remember this, and the glass does shatter, it will not injure you, and if you have protected it, it will not splinter.
Have you ever had to clean up a room into which glass has shattered ?
If you have you will know that you should wear thick gloves if you can and that you will have to watch out for splinters, especially if you have not been wise enough to protect your glass.
Splinters penetrate to the most unlikely places, and they can ruin furniture and upholstery. Examine all exposed food with the greatest care for tiny particles of glass. Take no chances.
Have you thought of protecting your furniture ?
It is a wise plan to cover it all at night with dust sheets, old quilts, tablecloths, curtains, etc. This may prevent deep scratches on the furniture if the house is damaged by enemy action and will help to keep upholstery clean if dust or soot falls.
Before you go to shelter
Have you packed a bag with a complete change of clothing, and have you left it with a friend who lives some streets away from you or in another part of the town ?
Nothing is more embarrassing or annoying than to be left without clothes if you have to leave your home.
Where do you keep your valuables and the papers which you do not wish to lose and which cannot be easily replaced ?
Valuables and such papers. If you cannot do this they should be taken to shelter with you.
Do you carry large sums of money with you ?
Don't do this, it is most unwise. The best thing to do is to put all spare money into National Savings. It will be safe there and you can easily get it if you need it.
What precautions do you take before you leave the house ?
Draw back all curtains or raise blinds in upper rooms, so that if a fire is started it can be readily seen from the outside.
Do you turn off all gas taps, and also turn off the gas at the main, before leaving the house ?
Do this and do not forget also to turn off all pilot jets, and your electricity at the main.
Do you leave fires burning in the house ?
Try not to do this, damp them down before you go. Salt will help to put them out.
Do you lock the doors of your house or flat when you leave ?
Don't do this, or, if you do, see that some responsible person has the key. Put a notice on your door to say where the keys are.
Do you wrap up warmly if you have to go outside to shelter ?
You should–remember that although it may be quite warm when you go, it may be cold when you leave in the early morning. You may need, too, to get up during the night and the warm wraps may prove a blessing.
What you should take with you to shelter
Do you know the things which you should have with you ?
Identity card, rent book, building society book, record of instalment payments, ration card.
Shaded torch (if "black-out" is early).
If the weather is cold, a hot-water bottle or hot bricks which you have heated in a hot oven or in front of the fire for two hours, wrapped up in your rugs or bedding to keep them warm.
Slippers and clean stockings or socks–you may get your feet wet on the way to shelter and there is no more sure way of catching cold than by sitting with wet feet.
Something to do (knitting, etc.), something to read.
Toilet soap, towel, toilet paper, something to drink out of, if you use a public shelter.
Anything else which you have found by experience that you need.
WHILE YOU ARE IN SHELTER
If you use a public shelter, do you do our best to help the Shelter Warden in seeing that rules are obeyed ?
Do this–obedience to Wardens may be irksome, but may prove more important than you think ; it has often resulted in saving life.
Always back up the Shelter Warden–his authority to act in certain cases ?
They have authority to enforce certain of the shelter rules, and the police act in co-operation with them.
Have you found out whether you can give any help in the shelter ?
People may be needed to help with the canteen, to act as librarians, to help in the organisation of occupation for the shelters.
You may be able to do some of these things.
Do you do all you can to get and to keep a happy spirit amongst all who shelter with you ?
A good aspect of public shelters is the wonderful "family" feelings which has grown up amongst shelterers.
Do you know the best form of bedding for shelter use ?
It is a sleeping-bag, easy to make either from the blankets you already have or from pieces of old material you have by you.
Do you know how to make one ?
- Take a blanket or rug (or pieces of material joined together) about 7 feet long and 6 feet 6 inches wide.
- Fold the two sides of the blanket towards the centre.
- Before you start sewing it together sew on the pieces of tape about 6 inches long at each bottom corner. These pieces of tape are to tie up with similar pieces sewn on the loose inside sheet or blanket which you will use inside the bag.
- Now sew across the bottom of the folded blanket, leaving the tapes outside as this is the wrong side of your sleeping-bag.
- Sew up the centre and edges where the edges of the folded blanket meet to within 2 feet of the top.
- Sew tapes about 6 inches long opposite to each other on these open edges, so that they can be tied together when you are inside the bag.
- Arrange this lining sheet or blanket over the bag and tie up the tapes.
- Now turn the whole thing inside out and your bag is ready for use with its loose lining in place.
The sleeping-bag should be should be ironed inside and out every month.
Do you know that when you are not sleeping on a thick matress you need as much covering under you as over you ?
You can use a thick layer of newspaper or brown paper on your bunk. Paper is draught-proof and does not conduct heat away.
If you prefer to use loose bedding, have you thought of making a "sleeping tidy" ?
This consists of a piece of thin, brightly coloured or striped cotton materials sufficiently large to cover your bunk. Sew tapes on the bottom corners long enough to tie on to the bunk frame, and longer pieces at the top corners which you can tie on to the bunk frame when you have settled down.
This will keep your bedding cosily in place and will prevent it from falling off your bunk during the night.
In addition "sleeping tidies" help to keep a shelter neat and give a bright and pleasant aspect.
Do you take your bedding out of the shelter every day ?
Bedding should be aired daily. You realise the importance of this in your home; it is still more important where a shelter is concerned.
Daily airing will help to keep bedding sweet and fresh and will help to get rid of dampness.
In the driest of shelters bedding will get damp owing to humidity during the night, and many ills may result from sleeping in damp bedclothes.
Do you know that ironing helps to keeping bedding fresh and dry ?
Try to iron your bedding or sleeping bag regularly. It will help to keep it dry and clean.
Do you take your washable bedding home once a week to launder ?
You should–you would not like to be thought an unpleasant neighbor.
Do you store your bedding with other peoples during the day ?
Do not do this if you can possibly avoid it.
Infection can be spread in this way and it will mean that your never gets aired.
Air cannot penetrate through layer upon layer of material folded tightly, so even if you have to store your bedding in this way, be sure you take it home once a week for a thorough airing.
If you are allowed to leave your bedding in the shelter, and must do so because you cannot take it home daily, do you roll it up into a bundle in the morning?
You should leave it neatly folded, laid out in the bunk, not rolled up.
There will be more chance of air penetrating through it if it is laid out in this way than if it is rolled up.
Never, never, leave your bed unmade, just as you have got out of it. But if you possibly can, take your bedding home daily for airing, even if the Shelter Warden does tell you that you may leave it in the shelter.
Do you snore ? Try to lie on your side, not on your back. If you are in the habit of turning on to your back during the night and snoring results, try tying something hard in the middle of your back (a cotton reel) ; this may prevent you from lying on your back during the night.
Do you toss and turn whilst trying to get to sleep ? Try not to do so. It really makes you more wakeful and disturbs others.
Do you go to rest in heavy outer clothing ? You will sleep better if you remove your heavy outer garments before you settle down for the night. You will need the extra warmth when you get up in the morning.
Do you try to persuade mothers to send their children to the country or to go there with them ? Try to do this. The best public shelter in the world is no place for children.
Do you make your children realise that when they are in a public shelter they must take part in making things happy for everyone ?
Trampling over other people's toes or belongings won't help.
Do you put the little ones to rest early ?
You should–children need all the sleep you can manage to get for them. That is why it is better to have a shelter of your own. If you go to a public shelter it is unlikely that the little ones will be able to get to sleep as early as they should.
Do you get impatient with other children in the shelter ?
Try not to do so, and if you possibly can, join in arranging play groups for them, where they can play quietly under supervision whilst their mothers rest.
How do you dress the children ?
They should wear their night clothes under their outer garments when they start for shelter. Then when bedtime comes the outer clothing can be taken off and they are all ready for bed. So often children are put to rest in a shelter without any change being made in their clothing. This is a mistake. It is unhealthy to wear the same clothes day and night ; underwear needs airing after daytime wear. Besides, shelters become warmer during the night and it is bad for children to become overheated whilst they sleep.
Do you know that ordinary rules for the care of children are more important now than ever ?
A ten or fifteen minutes' rest before and after meals. Plenty of fresh air. Keep them out of doors as much as you can during the day. Regular meals–plenty of drinks between meals. Plenty of milk. Nothing indigestible or exciting at the last meal at night. At this last meal you should avoid giving them such things as cheese, pastry, sausages, strong tea and fried foods.
Do you encourage the little ones to say their prayers even in shelter ?
You should. A child gains a great sense of security if it feels that someone is caring for it who is even greater than Mummy or Daddy.
Do you teach your children their name and address as soon as they can talk ?
This s very important, because if they become separated from you they will be able to say who they are and where they live.
Do you put a label with the child's name and address on it on to each of your children under ten years of age ? You should do this.
Have you taught your children not to touch anything strange which they find lying in street or garden after an air raid ? And do you know this yourself ?
Anything of the kind should be reported to your Warden or the police at once. It may be dangerous to touch things you do not understand.
If you are caught in the open during a raid
Have you found out which is the nearest public shelter to your shopping centre ? If you do not know, find out to-day. You never know when you may need this knowledge.
Are you diffident about taking shelter when the enemy are overhead ?
You need not be–discussion is the better part of valour.
Do you know what to do if you need to take shelter when in the country ?
Get behind a low wall if there is one handy, or into a ditch, and lie flat, your head in your arms protecting your face.
Do you know what to do if an enemy plane turns machine-guns on you ?
Do not run away from the plane. Throw yourself down on your face at once. If you have to run, run towards the plane, not from it.
Have you cleared your attic or top floor of anything which could catch fire easily ?
Incendiary bombs will penetrate through a slate roof but they will be stopped by the first boarded floor they strike. They can be controlled if dealt with speedily. If you live on the top floor, try not to have inflammable materials lying about.
Have you linked up with the Fire Guards ?
You should do so if you possibly can.
Incendiary bombs in the house
Do you keep any equipment for dealing with these bombs in your house ? In your attic, on the top floor and downstairs ? Receptacles containing water should be on the upper floor and on the ground floor.
Have you got a stirrup pump ? You should get one if you possibly can, for a stirrup pump is by far the best way of dealing with incendiary bombs. It is wonderful what it can do.
Do you think that dealing with incendiary bombs is rather fun ? It is not wise to treat them with too little respect, because some of these bombs have a small explosive charge in them. It is not in all of them, but caution is necessary–your own particular bomb might be one them. Ask your Warden for further information on this point.
If you heard the Wardens blowing short sharp blasts on their whistles would you know it meant that incendiary bombs were falling ?
When you heard the whistles, would you rush into the street ?
Don't do this–look first to see if any have fallen through your own roof. You can leave the ones outside for a few minutes, unless they are near something which may catch fire easily.
Even then it is best to search your own house before tackling those outside.
If you found a bob of this kind in your house, would you try to call the Fire Brigade ?
Don't do this straight away. Try to fight the fire yourself first. Remember that yours is probably only one of a number of fires.
Do you know how to set about finding the bomb and dealing with it ?
Keep your head and mind how you open doors. The door of a room in which a bomb is burning should be opened with care since the hot gases will have raised the atmospheric pressure in the room. The door will not be so easy to open as in normal circumstances, and when it does open the hot gases and smoke may rush out. In particular, the head should be kept well behind the door. If a door opens towards you, put your foot about three inches away from the opening edge, so that the opening door will be checked and not fly open exposing you to smoke and flames.
Keep behind the door when you are opening it so that it protects you.
Do you know how to use a stirrup pump ?
You need three people to work it.
No. 1 to manage the nozzle, which is made so that by pressing a switch down or up, either a spray or a jet of water can be used.
No. 2 to do the plumbing–it is fairly hard work.
No. 3 to fetch water as needed, and relieve either No. 1 or No. 2.
When you find the fire, don't lose your head.
Get hold of the stirrup pump nozzle and crawl into the room.
Keep your head near the floor, smoke is less dense there.
Take cover behind a chair–sofa–anything which will protect you, and drop right down on your tummy.
Perhaps you will not be able to see at once where the bomb is.
Never mind–don't get fussed–turn on the spray until you do know where it is, then you will not play the jet on it by mistake.
Could you recognise the bomb ?
You will know it by its white glare.
If you found that it had set fire to something, the curtains for instance, would you lose your head and forget all that you had learnt ?
Keep calm and remember these instructions :–
Change to jet and damp down the fires caused by the bomb first.
But don't leave the bomb entirely; if you do it will cause more fires.
As soon as you have got the flames sufficiently under control not to spread, turn your attention to the bomb.
Do you remember what to do for the bomb ?
"Spray" for the bomb, "Jet" for the fires.
If you use the jet on the bomb you may spread the fire by scattering the molten material about the room.
What would you do when the fire was safely out and the bomb also ?
Look into the room below to see if all is safe there too, because these bombs can burn through floorboards and some of the fire-causing substances may have fallen through.
Do you think that using sand indoors is as good as using a stirrup pump ?
It is not. It is only the next best thing.
These bombs go on burning when something with sand, and fires have been caused because people didn't know this.
If you must use sand, do you know how to do it ?
Drop a partly filled sandbag on to the bomb, and when you have controlled it, scoop it up and put it into a bucket and take it out of doors to a place where it can do no harm. Remember, if you leave it to burn out in the bucket it will burn right through it.
But you will need water to put out the fires the bomb has caused.
Will you remember these five points?
- Keep your head.
- Protect yourself.
- A stirrup pump is the best way to deal with incendiary bombs ; use "spray" not "jet" for the bomb.
- These bombs go on burning under sand.
- If you lose your head and leave an incendiary bomb to do its worst, you will probably lose your own home and endanger the homes of others.
Incendiary bombs in the street
Do you know how to deal with incendiary bombs in the street ?
The sandbags placed at lamp-posts and in doorways are for your use.
If the bomb has fallen where it can do no harm, let it burn for a few minutes ; if it is in a dangerous place, tackle it at once.
Do you know how to do this ?
Pick up a sandbag–carry it over your shoulder.
As you approach the bomb, shift your sandbag so that you are hugging it and shielding your face with it.
Place it on the bomb–don't throw it–then run.
Don't wait to see what happens next.
Do you keep your fire-fighting equipment in order and ready for use ?
Buckets filled–hose clean and coiled up–axe in it's place.
If you have just dealt with one shower of incendiary bombs, get your equipment ready again immediately. You cannot tell when another shower may come, so always be ready.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GAS
Do you believe stories of new and dreadful gases which the enemy are preparing ?
Do not believe stories like this, they are not true ; we know all about the gases which they might use against us.
Are you frightened that the enemy may use gas ?
He may do so, but there is no need to be frightened if you do the right thing now and when the time comes.
If you learn what to do now and remember it you will have taken the first steps to make such an attack fail in its object.
Have you brought any Anti-Gas ointment ?
Do this at once. Ask your chemist for "No. 2 Anti-Gas ointment," price 6d.
Read the instructions on the jar and carry it always.
This ointment protects you against the effects of liquid blister gas. But you must apply it quickly if it is to be fully effective.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW
Do you and your family always take your gas masks with you wherever you go ?
No risk is worth while where gas is concerned.
Do you keep your mask beside you even when you go to bed ?
Do you practise wearing your mask once a week ?
You should practice regularly and see that your family do so too, even the small children.
Using gas masks this way will make no difference to them.
They will still protect against gas for as long as they are needed to do so, and the civilian mask is just as effective as those used by members of the Services and the Civil Defense Force.
Have you treated the talc window through which you see, to prevent it from becoming blurred ?
Once a week and after each time you have used the mask, dip a finger in water and rub it on a piece of toilet soap. Then smear the soapy finger over the inside surface of the eyepiece, leaving an even thin film of soap all over it.
This film will last a week if you do not use the mask during that time.
Have you asked your Air Raid Warden to test your mask ?
Do this if you have not done so. You will then feel sure that it is fitting as it should.
Do you think that your gas mask is a protection against ordinary coal gas ?
It is not. Don't forget this. It is made to protect you against war gases.
Is your child used to wearing its gas mask ?
It is most important that it should be.
Do you have trouble in getting your child to wear its mask ?
If you do and you have tried in every way you can to coax it to wear the mask and have failed, try to get a small playfellow, who does not mind wearing its mask, to come in when you are next trying to get your own child to practise. This very often does the trick, for children hate to be made to look ridiculous before their little friends.
Afterwards you must insist on the mask being put on regularly and probably you will find that the child ceases to object after time.
You must not give way about this–just think of what it may mean to the child.
Another way is to leave the child alone with other children. Children have their own methods of dealing with playfellows who are reluctant to do some special thing, and they will often succeed where you would fail.
There is another way too, which you could try. Children hate to feel that they are being left out of anything, so get your helpers, the other children, to play some game involving the wearing of gas masks. This dodge will often lure small rebels to unconditional surrender.
If, however, all efforts fail, take your child to the A.R.P. Department of your local authority and explain the situation before the child and ask for a baby helmet to be issued instead of the Micky Mouse Mask. These helmets can often be issued to larger children.
BUT DON'T DO THIS TILL YOU HAVE TRIED ALL OTHER MEANS WITHOUT SUCCESS.
Remember that it will mean perhaps another helmet to pump, and you want to avoid that if possible.
Does your child wear spectacles ? And do you know that spectacles must not be worn under the mask, but over it ?
You can make elastic straps to fasten with a hook and eye with tapes at the opposite ends. These tapes can be tied on to the spectacles when wanted.
They could be kept in the gas-mask case, rolled up, hook and eye inwards.
Do you know how to put on a small child's mask ?
Have you practised doing it, so that both you and the child know all about it ?
Putting on a Child's Gas Mask
If this child wears spectacles, take them off.
Stand behind the child, with the back of its head resting against you, so that its neck is supported.
See that the hook and eye on the harness straps of the mask are undone.
Place your thumbs under the bottom and middle straps on each side.
Lift the mask to the child's face, and catch the chin part under the child's chin.
Then stretch the harness over the head.
See that the mask is straight on the face, the chin fitting snugly into the chin-piece, and no edge turned in. Then fasten the hook and eye.
That is how you do it, but do teach the child to o it for itself if possible.
Baby's Anti-Gas Helmet
Have you made it someone's special duty to carry baby's anti-gas helmet when you go to the shelter ?
Do you keep the helmet clean and in its box ?
Is baby used to it ?
Putting it to sleep in the helmet for short periods with the skirt of the bag turned up will soon get it accustomed to it. Lots of mothers do this now.
Have you padded the tail-piece well ?
You should do this with padding which can be washed when soiled.
Are you sure you know how to put your baby into it ?
This is how you should do it :
Open the wire legs of the helmet and click them back.
Lay the helmet down and open the skirt of the bag, turning the top of it back over the window.
See that the wide strap fastened to the turned-up end of the metal tail-piece is out of the way, so that the baby will not lie on it.
Pull down the skirt of the bag over baby.
See that both its arms are up inside the bag.
Tie the ends of the draw tapes together once and draw the tape firmly round the waist, but not so tight as to be uncomfortable.
Finish off by tying the ends in a bow (because a bow is easy to undo).
(To keep out gas, you needn't draw the tape round the waist tightly.)
Now bring the supporting piece up between the legs.
Attach the ends of the canvas strap to the buckles on each side of the frame, so as to hold baby firmly in place.
If the helmet has been adjusted to the right length, baby's face should be opposite the middle of the window.
Do you know how to use the hand-pump attached to the helmet ?
This is how it is done :
First give at least 12 sharp strokes on the pump to clear the air out of the helmet. Then continue to pump slowly and steadily ; 35 or 40 strokes a minute is fast enough to keep out poison gas, and to provide plenty of air for a child 3 or 4 years of age. If you pump too fast, you will tire yourself out.
You could safely stop pumping for several minutes if necessary, without fear of poison gas entering the helmet in amounts which would be harmful.
If you find that even with these instructions you are not sure how to manage it, let your Air Raid Warden know, and ask him to show you exactly how it should be done.
And don't forget, if you have other children to look after, to arrange for a neighbor to come in and help you when an air-raid warning sounds.
What you should do in a Gas Attack
Do you know what the gas warning is ?
It is the sound of rattles, like those you used to hear at football matches.
Do you know what to do if they sound ?
- Put on your gas mask at once, even if you are in bed.
- If you are inside the house, shut all the windows and doors and go upstairs if the building is a tall one.
- Don't come downstairs or take off your gas mask till you hear the "Gas Clear," which is the sound of handbells.
- Do you know how to avoid danger from spray ?
If you are outside, turn up your collar, put your hands in your pockets, or if you have an umbrella, put it up.
Never look upwards. You may get drops of liquid gas in your eyes if you do.
Are you worrying about being caught in the street by a Gas Attack whilst your children are with you ?
Don't worry unduly about this. Of course, we can't be certain that raids will take place entirely at night, but we can fairly hope that few of them will be before dusk, and not many after dawn, and during this period between dusk and dawn the babies will be tucked up in their beds, or they should be !
Being indoors gives you extra protection and time to get your little people into their gas masks.
But you will say, "Suppose there is a raid during the day when we are out in the street."
Well, remember that you won't be taken unawares ; the sirens will sound, and you will be wise to go home at once, if you can.
But if you cannot and you hear gunfire, Get Under Cover At Once, whether you hear the gas rattles or not. Then you will have plenty of time to put on masks.
But suppose you can't get under cover before the gas rattles sound ?
It is very unlikely that this will happen, but if it does don't stop to put on masks, get the children under cover at once. Go into a shop, any building that is open, or knock on the door of the nearest house and ask to go in.
No one will refuse you.
Now, suppose, in spite of it being extremely improbable, you cannot get under cover with the children.
PUT ON YOUR OWN MASK FIRST and then put on the children's.
You will hate to do this, BUT REMEMBER IF YOU GET GASSED THERE WILL BE NO ONE TO SEE THAT THE CHILDREN ARE SAFE. If you practise putting on your mask, it will hardly delay you in getting on the children's.
If the gas rattles sounded whilst you were at home, would you look out of the window to see if anyone was in the street who needed shelter ?
Every man and woman should do this ; do as you would be done by.
If you saw a mother with children caught by a gas attack in the street would you help her ?
Of course you would.
THE RISK OF A GAS ATTACK IS MUCH LESS IN A COUNTRY AREA, so if your children are safely in the country, LEAVE THEM THERE, and if they are not, DO YOUR BEST TO GET THEM INTO THE COUNTRY.
What to do
- If you breathe in any gas or vapour, put on your mask at once. Better late than never.
- Keep your mask on even if you feel uncomfortable, and if your child wants to get off its mask, tie its hands down if necessary.
- If you feel irritation afterwards which does not stop when a little time has passed, go to your Air Raid Warden or ask a member of a First Aid Party what you should do.
Do you know what to do if you see a dark splash on your skin or clothing after or during a gas attack ?
It may mean that you have been splashed with liquid blister gas.
This is what you should do.
- Dab the liquid off your skin with your handkerchief or a piece of soft paper. Don't wipe it off. Wiping may spread the liquid. Then burn or bury whatever you have used to do this–it is dangerous.
- Rub "No. 2 Anti-Gas ointment" well into and round the place where the liquid splash has been.
If you have not got this ointment with you, go to the nearest chemist, where you will find a substitute for this and will be told how to use it.
Anti-Gas ointment, or the bleach cream which the chemist will show you how to use, must be put on within five minutes of your being splashed to be completely effective. Slightly later application may still be in time to reduce the severity of any burn which results.
If you cannot do this, wash the place as soon as possible with soap, nailbrush and hot water if possible–anyway wash it–this may save you a burn.
- Take off any splashed outer garment at once before the liquid has time to soak through the skin ; second count.
- If you are within five minutes of your home, or any place where you know you can get a wash, go there at once and wash yourself with hot water and soap, but before you go inside take off any clothing which you think has been splashed and your shoes also. Remember your health matters much more than your feelings, and being modest won't compensate you for nasty burns.
- If you don't know anywhere to go for this wash which is within five minutes, ask the Air Raid Warden or the police what you should do. They will direct you to a place where you can be cleansed from the gas contamination.
- If you are at home yourself and someone else is splashed and needs a wash–let him in and help him all you can, but don't touch his splashed clothing, which must be removed before the person enters the house.
Protecting Food against Gas
Do you know how to protect food against gas ?
- Keep all the food you can in cans or air-tight bottles. It will be perfectly safe there.
- Flour, rice, tea, butter, lard, sugar, etc., should be kept in tins or jars with tightly fitted lids.
- A good plan is to buy a roll of adhesive tape and put it round the fitting edge of the lids of each jar or tin.
You can then easily open one when you want it and replace the tape after use.
- Store all the food you can in cupboards or places where it cannot be splashed with liquid gas.
- If you think that water or food has been exposed to gas, do not attempt to try to deal with it yourself.
Tell the police or your Air Raid Warden and don't touch it till the local authority experts have examined it and told you it is safe.
Blister gas cannot kill you if you wear your gas mask, which protects such vital parts as your lungs and your eyes, and if you do what you have been told to do, you will not develop bad burns on the skin either.
BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR
Are you alone in the house at night ?
If so, don't think you could help someone else ?
Is there an invalid or an old person living nearby who will gain confidence if you shelter with them or they with you ?
Perhaps you have a neighbor who is a mother with a number of small children, who would be grateful for your help.
If you have a shelter to spare in your home, do you offer to share it ?
You are a back number if you keep "yourself to yourself"–nowadays we are one big family.
The Housewives Service
Perhaps you would like to do some war work but feel that your domestic duties do not give you time for it ?
Join the Housewives Service in your own street and you will find that there is plenty you can do without leaving home.
If such a service has not been started yet, why should you not be the one to begin ?
You can easily find out how to do this by asking for the W.V.S. Centre at the Town Hall. They will tell you all about it.
If you live in the country a Housewives Service can be just as useful there as in a town.
Here are some of the things a Housewives Service can do :–
Provide the Wardens' Post with a list of the people sheltering each night in each house in the street, and whereabouts in the house they take shelter.
Compile and keep a list of the next-of-kin of each Housewife in the road.
Make First Aid Dressings for every house in the street so that they will always be handy.
Find out who have ladders and where they are kept.
The Housewives at one end of the road can arrange with the Housewives at the opposite end to exchange hospitality if houses are damaged by enemy action.
Arrange little social gatherings at each other's houses and see that there is no "lonely person" left out.
These are only a few of the things which can be done. There Service is a valuable and useful body linked up with the Wardens' Service and the Fire Guards.
Do you write to your friends after an air raid, telling them about the damage which has been done ?
Be careful what you say
Remember that the enemy may be only too glad to have the information you are giving and people are still not as careful as they should be in what they repeat.
Do you try to telephone your friends and relatives immediately after a raid ?
Don't use the telephone at such a time
It is needed for really important messages, and when you do use it, do not give details of air-raid damage. Be guarded in what you say.
Do you talk about such things in 'buses or trains ?
You may be doing infinite harm without realising it.
Do you live in a restricted area ?
If you do, be careful not to discuss any of the defence arrangements or the disposition of troops which have been made there, when you come into territory which is outside the restricted part.
Do you avoid rumour-mongers ? And never spread rumours yourself ?
Do you exaggerate good or bad news ?
Don't lose your sense of proportion
Keep cheerful yourself, and keep others cheerful too.
A long face does not help anyone, but a cheerful face always makes the day seem brighter.
Do you go "sightseeing" after an air raid ?
Don't do this. You don't mean to be thoughtless, but an influx of people in a bombed area hinders the work of the Services and makes things more difficult for the workers who have to get to and from their jobs.
A sudden increase in numbers in an area, all wanting something to eat and drink, may mean that when tired A.R.P. workers come off duty there is nothing left for them.
Do you rush out to see what has happened if a bomb falls in your neighborhood ?
Do not do this. Although people are always eager to help when such things happen, crowds only hinder the work of the Civil Defence forces.
If you have been "bombed"
If you have been "bombed" yourself, do exactly what the Wardens or Police tell you to do. They know what is best for you ; but if you have arranged with a friend in another part of the town or at the opposite end of your street to give you hospitality, tell the officials this and they will see that you get there safely.
Do not go away to such a place without telling the Police or Wardens–if you do they may waste valuable time in looking for you
Don't refuse First Aid treatment. You may feel shaken and your eyes may be full of dust. You may be suffering from "shock" more than you realise and the dust in your eyes may contain minute particles of glass. The Stretcher Parties or the Wardens will know what is best for you to do. They are trained to know this.
If you are told to evacuate your house for any reason would you do so immediately without arguing ?
If you are told to do this, obey the Police or Wardens without question, and at once.
If you are undressed, pull on a pair of knickers over your nightgown or pyjamas, put on stockings and shoes, thick pullover and skirt, and heavy coat. You will be told where to go.
Don't attempt to return to the house until you are informed that it is safe to do so.
Injuries have been caused because people disobeyed the instructions of the Police and Wardens.
Do you know where the stop-cock is, where you can turn off the water ?
Find out now–you should be able to get to it blindfolded.
Have you thought how you could get water if your water mains are damaged ?
There will probably be enough in your cistern for immediate household needs, but boil the water if you want it for drinking.
It is, however, a wise plan to keep a supply of about eight gallons of drinking water in containers ready for an emergency. Perhaps you will not need so much. Two gallons are enough for one person for drinking and cooking purposes, to cover 48 hours. You should see that this reserve of drinking water is always fresh.
If your water mains were damaged, would you remember to put the boiler fire out at once, if you have one ?
There may be an explosion if you forget to do this.
If your house does get flooded, don't touch any electric fittings—you may get a nasty shock if you do.
Lighting and Heating
Do you always keep a stock of candles and an electric torch in the house ?
You may need them if lights are damaged.
Do you know that an explosion near by will probably blow out the gas in a gas oven or gas fire ?
Remember to turn off gas ovens and gas fires when an air raid is in progress, or before you go to shelter. If you don't do this our house may be filled with coal-gas after a raid.
Do you know what to do if you smell gas on entering the house after a raid ?
Open all doors and windows from the outside if you can, and don't go into the house. Give the gas time to clear, and tell your Air Raid Warden.
Have you thought what you would do if your means of cooking was cut off ?
Arrange to cook at a friend's house some distance away, or take your meals at a Communal Feeding Centre. You can find out from the Citizens Advice Bureaux whether there is one of these centres in your vicinity and where it is.
Report any damage to your house to your Air Raid Warden.
Do it at once, don't wait for weeks before reporting it.
If your house was damaged, would you rush to the Town Hall and bombard the people there with requests for help ?
Don't do it. Be patient. Remember, if your house is damaged others probably are too. Instead, tell your trouble to your Air Raid Warden. He is able to report damage more quickly and surely than you can.
How to Claim for House Damage
You should get a Form C1 from the local council or from the Regional Officer of the War Damage Commission and send it in to that officer within 30 days of the occurence of the damage. (If you have already made a claim on Form V.O.W.1 and sent it to the District Valuer, you need not send in a Form C1.)
Damaged Gas Masks
If you lose your gas mask as a result of air-raid damage, or if it is injured in this way, go to the Air Raid Precaution Department at the Town Hall and tell them about it and take the injured mask with you if you have it. Do this within a week, don't leave it for months before you inform the authorities. Your mask will be replaced free of charge if it has been damaged or lost in this way.
After the Raid
Are your plans made as to what you will do if you have to leave your house ?
Try to make plans now. Various ways of doing this have been suggested in this booklet.
Have you asked your Air Raid Warden where you can get advice in the event of an emergency ?
Do you know that arrangements have been made to look after you if you have nowhere to go ?
There are Emergency Rest Centres, and you will be sent there if you have no place to which you can go.
Do you know that there are officials at these Centres who can advise you ?
They can tell you:–
How to get clothes if you have lost yours.
How to get money if you are in need.
How to get a new ration book, identity card, gas mask, etc.
You can get travel vouchers, too, if you wish to go to friends and cannot reach them without help of this kind ; but –
If you are wise you will make certain arrangements now.
- Pack a suitcase of spare clothing and keep it at a friend's house in another part of town.
- Arrange with a friend at the opposite end of your street or in another part of the town to give you hospitality for a short time in case of need.
- Arrange with a relative to take you in until you can return to your house or find other quarters.
- Find out now all the details you can about what help can be given to you in an emergency.
ADVICE AND HELP
If you want to find out:–
What to do about your furniture if your house is bombed
How to get compensation for damage ;
How to get a travel voucher ;
How to register for evacuation ;
How to get help if you are in financial need ;
How to get an allowance or pension if you are injured ;
What to do if you have lost your identity card, ration book, pension book, unemployment book, health insurance card, gas mask, etc.
If you want help with any of your problems—
Go to your Counsil's Information Centre.
A policeman or warden will tell you where it is.
Have you sent your pets to the country ?
Do so if you can, it is quieter for them there.
Do you know that you cannot take pet into a public shelter ?
Dogs should be taken for walks near home so that you can get back quickly if necessary.
When you take your dog into your own shelter, do you put him on a lead ? You should be taken for walks near home so that you can get back quickly if necessary.
When you take your dog into your own shelter, do you put him on a lead ? You should. He may become frightened and rush away.
Have you got a muzzle for your dog ? You should try to get one if he goes to shelter with you. The time may come when he becomes hysterical, and if you have a muzzle it would be wise to put it on.
Is your dog frightened of noise ? If he is, try this remedy–
Take a strip of material long enough to cross the head and come down on to the ears–attach three tape strings to each end of it.
Place wads of cottonwool under the ear flaps, not inside the ears.
Tie the cover over the head, with the strings under the chin.
Do you know what to do to prevent dogs or cats being gassed.
Don't get expensive gas-proof boxes or kennels. These are not recommended.
Put your dog or cat into its sleeping basket.
Cover the basket over completely with an ordinary blanket which has been soaked in plain water.
Do not use this gas prevention treatment until you actually hear the Gas Alarm.
Do you know that birds are particularly susceptible to gas ?
If there is a gas attack, cover the cage of your pet with a blanket soaked in water.
Is your dog nervous during air raids ?
If so, you can give him a dose of bromide. Ask the chemist to mix it all ready for you to use, or it may be easier to give tablets. For a dog the size of a terrier give two 5-grain tablets. You can repeat this dose 3 or 4 times safely. Crush the tablet up and place it on the tongue. Or you can give aspirin if you have no bromide. One 5-grain tablet to a dog of terrier size, half a tablet to a Pekinese, 2 tablets to an Alsatian, gives you an idea of how to judge the dose by size.
Have you any horses or farm animals ?
If you have it would be wise to write to the R.S.P.C.A., 105, Jermyn Street, London, S.W.1, and to ask them to send you their latest pamphlet on Animals and Air Raids, price 1d. each, post 2d.
HINTS ON FIRST AID
Have you a First Aid outfit in the house ?
Do you know how to use it ?
Here are some simple hints :
- Keep your head.
- Don't get flustered by the sight of blood. Remember that the injury will seldom be as bad as it looks.
- Make the patient lie down and keep still, loosen tight clothing.
- Cover warmly with blankets.
- Use hot-water bottles–any bottles will do–filled with hot but not boiling water. Boiling water may burst them.
Wrap them in socks or anything to precent them from blistering the patient.
- Put them under the blankets, but not next to the patient's bare skin.
- If the patient is unconscious or injured internally, do not give anything to drink.
- If conscious and not injured internally or in the stomach area gives sips of hot drinks, such as tea, coffee, milk, etc. Sugar in the drink will help.
All this is called "Treating for Shock."
Every case of injury is suffering from shock in more or less degree, but especially so in the case of air-raid casualties.
If you give this treatment, you will prevent this condition from getting worse.
Patients can die from shock.
- Bones may be broken. If so, the biggest danger is from the ends of the broken bone.
So again, make the patient lie down and keep still, whether you know bones are broken or not.
- Don't touch the injured limb again.
- Wait for skilled help
- Keep fresh dirt from entering wounds by pads of clean dressing, secured as well as you can.
- Don't attempt too much bandaging if the injury is a serious one.
Only use a tourniquet if the bleeding is bright red and spurting like a fountain.
A tourniquet is a bandage or anything similar put round a limb and tightened till the bleeding stops.
The best kind for an untrained person to use is a bandage 3 in. wide and 2 yds. long.
- Bind the bandage firmly and smoothly round the limb—no twisting—no pads—sufficiently tight to stop the bleeding
- Loosen it every ten minutes, and only tighten it again if the spurting bleeding recommences.
- Remember that every minute a tourniquet is in place, it is doing actual harm as well as possible good. So don't forget to loosen it.
- Don't touch clots. They are Nature's ay of sealing a wound and stopping a bleeding.
Burns and Scalds
- With burns and scalds the great thing to do is to keep the air away. Cover them up at once with a clean wet cloth if possible–a dry clean one if water is not at hand.
- Make a solution of baking soda (soda bicarbonate) and water.
1 dessertspoonful of baking soda to
1 pint of clean lukewarm water.
- Soak the dressings in this mixture.
- Remove the cloth and put on the wet dressings and keep them wet with the solution till skilled help arrives.
- Never use oil or grease on a burn or scald. This is the bad old way.
- Remember that shock is always severe in burn cases because they are so painful ; therefore treat as in Nos. 3-8
- Loosen tight clothing. Make the patient sit down with the head between the knees, if there is only a feeling of faintness.
- If actually faint, lay the patient down.
- Hold an uncorked bottle of Sal Volatile a little way from the nose.
- When conscious, give a dose of Sal Volatile, 1 teaspoonful in a cup half full of cold water. Let the patient drink it sitting up.
- Fan the patient
- When using an antiseptic, be careful to follow the instructions on the bottle or do exactly as the chemist has told you, for all antiseptics are more or less poisonous.
- Do not use tincture of iodine unless you are sure it is fresh. Iodine is apt to gain in strength the longer it is kept. If you use it, you may cause blisters on the skin.
Cut pieces of lint, linen or muslin.
Good sizes are:
4 in. x 5 in.
4 in. x 2 ½ in.
8 in. x 5 in.
These will fit into empty fifty-cigarette tins.
Wash the tins and fill them with the dressings.
Bake the closed tins in the oven, using the same temperature as you would for milk pudding, not a browning oven.
At the end of one hour, turn off and leave till the tins are cool enough to handle. Seal them with strips of sticking-plaster.
Strips of muslin or any such material, 3 yds. long.
they can be joined so long as the seams are smooth.
See that the seams do not come next to the skin when putting them on.
These may be purchased or made by cutting a linen or strong cotton teacloth across from one corner to another–making two triangles. Do not hem them.
A blunt-pointed pair is best, but any will do so long as they are clean, sharp-edged, and free from rust.
Cut a strip of muslin or linen, 2 yds. long and 3 in. wide.
It would be a good idea to have this coloured, so as to make it easy to pick out.
Simple First-aid outfit
1 two-ounce bottle of Sal Volatile. 1 small bottle of antiseptic, to take the place of iodine. 1 small tin of baking soda. 1 small roll or sticking-plaster. 1 tin of home-made dressings, or 1 roll of white gauze or lint. 1 small packet of cottonwool. 2 three-inch bandages. 2 two-inch bandages. 1 bandage tourniquet. 2 triangular bandages. 1 medicine glass or cup. 1 teaspoon. 1 dessertspoon. Scissors. Safety pins.
Everyone who can do should endeavous to take a full course in First Aid and to pass the examination at the end of such a course.
The knowledge gained will be invaluable in the home.
Are you putting every ounce of energy you possess into the war effort ?
Of course you are
You can help so much in your own home by remembering the advice which this booklet contains, and a housewife can do much by taking her part in the salvage campaign.
Enter your name and address here and carry this booklet in your handbag.
Find out the name and post address of your Air Raid Warden, and write it here.
Write the name and address of your nearest relation here.
To be purchased directly from H.M. STATIONARY OFFICE at the following addresses :
York House, Kingsway, London, W.C.2; 120 George Street, Edinburgh, 2;
39-41 King Street, Manchester, 2; 1 St. Andrew's Crecent, Cardiff;
80 Chichester Street, Belfast;
or through any bookseller
Wt.1944A/351—1000M 11/41 A.P.Ltd. 51-1746 0/291 34-9999