Civil Defence in WWII

Interview with Tom Downs

The following is an extract from an interview conducted with Tom Downs, who was a Local Defence Volunteer during World War Two

Interviewer: ‘Was it full time?’
T. Downs: ‘No it wasn’t full time; well it took all your spare time. We used to be on guard duty (?)…….We used to have some wooden beds with tiers all around it.’

Interviewer: ‘Did you do that all night?’
T. Downs: ‘All night. Our guard duty was around the factory mostly at night. Weekend especially. There were two old soldiers who took a turn about during the day in front of the factory gate wearing uniforms and holding their rifles and then at night there were two who walked up and round and met the others round the works all night long. And weekend as well.’

Interviewer: ‘So was it a voluntary thing?’
T. Downs: ‘Put it this way, it was voluntary, you had to do it.’

‘I used to help many of them over the fence, help them climb over. There were ex-army chaps of the previous war, so they were all in their (?). Some of them had been corporals; they had made some of them sergeants.’

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