Activity 2: What would you do?

If you had been alive in the war years, and had been old enough, what would you have done to help?
Of course, if you were over eighteen and fit enough to serve in the armed forces, you would have had to join the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force. But if you were not serving in one of these, which of the other jobs would you have applied to do to help?
Research one of the jobs needing to be done in Norwich. The Norwich at War book will give you some ideas, and you can use other research sources to help.
For instance:
● Your local or school library
● On the Internet, perhaps through special reference sites
● Talking to your grandparents
● Visiting one of the Norwich or Norfolk museums
Here are some of the jobs mentioned in the Norwich at War book. You can try and research one of these - or one of the many other voluntary organisations that had a special role in the war.

ARP Warden
The ARP - Air Raid Precautions - had begun to operate before the war. Volunteers were called for and organised into groups throughout the city. What sort of tasks did the ARP wardens undertake? How did they communicate their information? When did they have to work? What equipment were they trained to use? The picture shows the wardens based at the Good Companions pub in Norwich.

ATS - the Auxiliary Territorial Service
The ATS was a full-time service which women could join and when possible you would be given the same sort of work you had been trained for in your normal employment. Which branch of the services was the ATS linked to? What sort of work did its members undertake? At what age could you join up? You can still join the 'Territorial' services today - what do they do? The picture shows the front of an ATS recruiting leaflet.

AFS - Auxiliary Fire Service
Fire brigades were organised on the basis of towns and districts of cities. For the war, a considerable expansion of the fire service was needed and first the AFS and then the NFS, the National Fire Service, was formed. After the war, fire fighting was again handed back to local control. How were the main fire brigades organised? How and when was the NFS set up and equipped? Why did the government think a national brigade was needed during the war? How are our fire brigades organised today? The picture shows that not only the main fire brigades had to be ready - these fire watchers are ready to try and help on the Norwich rooftops.

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