From War & the Three Villages Produced by the Flamstead & Kensworth History Groups and the Markyate Local History Group, 1995
The troubled years of 1937-38 when Hitler’s idea of world domination was appearing, we as a nation started to make preparations for our own safety.
There was the formation of the A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions). Mr Tom Skeggs was the Chief Warden, this was formed I believe in 1938.
I was a messenger boy along with Gordon Sweetland and others. Gas masks were on issue, horrific things, you had a job to breathe and if you were doing anything strenuous the eyepiece would steam up so you couldn’t see where you were going.
Now in Home Guard
I always remember the firs bomb I ever heard come down, Sgt. Field, Mac and myself were on a road block at the top of Pickford Road, near Bonds Row. A plane was overhead; there was a long swishing noise, then Frank and Mac laying with their stomachs off the ground to avoid internal damage. Me! Standing up. When they got up, I laid down.
Once a fortnight we used to go to Wheathampstead for unarmed combat training and very useful it was too. An instructor and his six year old son; don’t laugh at the six year old, he could throw any man twice as big as himself, no problem, he was good. After being thrown about and learning a lot we used to adjourn to the Cherry Tree pub to recover.
Hertfordshire Local Studies, WW2 Yellow Folder 2