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Four small and one large metal buttons with letters ARP, abbreviation for Air Raid Precautions, cast on front of each button belonged to the uniform of a member of ARP, Air Raid Precautions in Cardiff. Diameter of the small buttons is 1.4 cm and the big one 2.3 cm. They were manufactured in Birmingham in England by H&H Ltd.

In December 1937, the British government passed the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Act, requiring local authorities to ready themselves in case of air attack. By the outbreak of war there were more than 1.5 million people in the ARP, or Civil Defence as it was later re-named. One of the most visible forms of ‘ARP’ was the air raid warden. These wardens became the first link in a chain of ARP bodies that would include firefighters, rescue and first aid parties, ambulance crews and medics. The wardens had a range of duties, such as advising local people on air raid precautions and enforcing the night time ‘blackout’ to ensure no artificial lights were visible from the air. During a raid, wardens were responsible for monitoring and reporting bomb damage, and for helping to coordinate the response of other civil defence services.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales F80.160.22-26

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