Civil Police on the Home Front during WW2

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Civil Police on the Home Front during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Mon 09 Nov 2009, 3:36 am

Hi Guys,
Thought it might be interesting to look at the Civil Police on the Home Fronts of the Allies during WW2.

Starting with the U.K. as war preperations started earlier than people would expect, actually during the closing months of 1937.

Here we have the London Metroplitan Police at Gas Mask Drill , 1937.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/met_po10.jpg
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The gas mask and bag are actually British Army issue. I'm sure someone will know what issue it is. This style was used throughout the war.

Gas was an expected attack method left over from the experiences of the First World War, another expectation was the 'Blackout' of towns to try to prevent aerial attacks on specific strategic targets.
How would the Police manage to operate during these times was discussed at great length and here we have one solution from 1939
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/1939_b10.jpg
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This police Constable has been issued with a White overcoat, properly fitted like his normal greatcoat with force buttons but of a lighter material as it was only intended to be worn for a short period each day. It could be worn over the greatcoat if required as it would have been very warm on it's own. The Helmet is a left over from WW1 and would normally be painted Dark Blue with the word 'POLICE' in White Paint usually through a stencil for quickness done by a guy at the local headquarters. Some other forces around the UK 'Borrowed' White coats from Butchers and Bakers delivery men.

Some very unusual items were produced to get round policing in the dark, this one is from Salford Borough Police in 1939 and although it did work ,it didn't last the period of the war. I suppose all the jokes must have been quite a problem for the constables wearing them ,to be taken seriously must have been an issue.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/salfor11.jpg
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This constable is in the midst of converting the regular summer Helmet over to the light-up version by first removing the Ball Top fitting.
This is the Light-up Helmet in actual use.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/salfor10.jpg
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This constable additionally holds a torch in each hand, one red lens and one green lens to aid in the directing of traffic.

Comments welcomed and if anyone has any other photos to share on this topic I would be interested to see them.
Best Regards,
Les

Les-Art

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USA and Canada border co-operation

Post  Les-Art on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 5:35 am

Here we have a publicity photo showing the co-operation between the USA and Canada at a Border crossing, it was taken in 1941 before the USA entered the War.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mounti10.jpg
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Mountie on the right is wearing the Red serge Uniform with a 'Stripped' Sam Browne belt, that is no firearm. which then was the common form of the Dress uniform. He has at least a 5 year service star on his upper left arm and a highest score Rifle marksman badge on the lower left arm.

The American is a US Border Patrol Officer, uniform is Dark Green. He is armed with a.38 calibre revolver.
Behind him appears to be an 'Honor Guard of the American Legion' with white parade rifles which are probably dummy ones.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Civil Police on the Home Front during WW2

Post  ChrisF202 on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 9:13 am

Ive never seen a USBP agent wearing a peaked cap before yet it's clearly a BP agent badge and the uniform color indicates that it's green rather then the blue worn by US Customs inspectors. Very interesting picture.

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Re: Civil Police on the Home Front during WW2

Post  Les-Art on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 1:52 pm

Could he be a rank of some sort ,as I've never seen collar badges of that style worn before and I know that Supervisors wore caps more often than the 'Smoky' or 'Stetson' style hat.

The other option may be that caps were worn at the urban crossings ,as opposed to the more rural ones where the protection from the sun would be more important with the wearing of the brimmed hat.

Best Regards,
Les

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US Army over runs Iceland

Post  Les-Art on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 2:54 pm

This photo is from 1943 and may be widely known ,but it is worth looking at from the point of view of the co-operation between the Civil and Military Police.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/icelan10.jpg
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A US military Policeman assists a local Icelandic Policeman with traffic duty in the Capital - Rekyavik, due to the number of vehicles landed on the island the local police took any additional help offered to keep the traffic flowing.
The Civil Police uniform was Black with gold buttons and badges, the colour scheme still used today.

The US Millitary used Iceland as a 'Jumping off' point for delivering supplies into Europe. With the number of vehicle left after the war the Icelandic Police were able to equip themselves with Harley-Davidson Motorcycles , which is the brand they still ride today and local industries used up stocks of trucks and utility vehicles, some of which are still in use.

Best Regards,
Les

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RUC parade 1940

Post  Les-Art on Fri 20 Nov 2009, 8:59 am

This photo is a parade of the 'Royal Ulster Constabulary' in 1940.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/1940_g10.jpg
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Of note is the fact that their helmets seem to be shiny compared with those used on the mainland.

In the background ,to the right of the picture, you can see a Constable wearing the spike topped helmet with chain which would have been worn on Dress occassions.

Best Regards,
Les

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