World War II: 1942 NSW Prepares for War

The National Emergency Services

The National Emergency Services NSW (NES) helped to protect, educate and provide aid on the home front. The NES was established in 1939 and by the end of World War II 115,418 people had volunteered with the organisation. Nearly half of these volunteers were enrolled as wardens. During the War, from the Hunter to the Illawarra, there were 464 air raid sirens, 70,000 feet (21,336 m) of trench shelters, 36,000 ft (10,972 m) of covered trenches and 139 pillbox air raid shelters.

Images used this Gallery

1. National Emergency Service – NSW Parliamentary Papers 1940-41, Vol 3, p.816

2. Training certificates – The NES used groups such as NSW Ambulance, St John Ambulance, the fire brigade and the military as training instructors. NRS 20008 [18/2796] File 5.

3. Training exercises – NRS 19987 [6/16010.4] August 1942, pp.10-17

4. The Warden – NRS 20008 [18/2796] File 7

5. Reporting an incident – NRS 20008 [18/2796] File 7

6. The Control Centre – NRS 20008 [18/2796] File 7
This photo, taken by Milton Kent, shows a NES ARP Section Duty Board on 13 April 1943. An Area Control Centre, based in a local government area, received damage reports from Wardens and co-ordinated with the fire brigade, the police and the gas and electricity companies. The Metropolitan Control Centre oversaw the wider Sydney area and liaised with hospitals and neighbouring area control centres to organise personnel and resources. The State Control Centre co-ordinated the state and communicated with the military. The centres were manned by volunteers 24 hours a day, seven days a week from December 1941 to early 1945.

7. Paddington air raid shelters – NRS 10658 [10/4817] Paddington, 18/8/1941

8. Pillbox bomb shelter – NRS 20008 [18/2797] File 7

9. Anderson bomb shelter – NRS 20008 [18/2797] File 7

10. First aid posts – NRS 10657 [SR Plan 2508]

Research by

Research for the World War II:1942 Gallery was completed by Jennifer Sloggett of State Records NSW.

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