The British World War Two home front in ARP cigarette
About cigarette cards and cigarette card albums
Click on these images for larger readable ones in
The front cover of the cigarette card album.
The inside front cover, with a message from the then
home secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt.
Layout of pages.
For many years it was the practice for
cigarette manufacturers to put what
was called a 'cigarette card' inside each packet of cigarettes. There were various
themes to the cards, and children would pressurise adults to buy more cigarettes
so that they could collect complete sets. Presumably this increased sales, which
was why the cigarette manufacturers bothered with the practice - and indeed
why it has now been discontinued! On one side of the cards was a picture and
on the other some written information about the picture. Albums for the sets
of cards could be bought very cheaply from
This page shows a set of cigarette cards on the theme of protecting the home
front from the air raids of the Second World War. The set was produced by the cigarette
company 'Wills', in collaboration with the ARP (Air Raid Precautions), an organisation
dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air-raids. The album
was photographed in Lincolnsfields Children's Centre in Bushey.
In 1939 leaflets describing the preparations 'if
war should come' were distributed to the public.
world war two home front - themed cigarette cards
The following pictures are close to their actual size, as they had to fit
into a packet of ten cigarettes.
Types of splinter-proof wall: brick; rubble in corrugate
iron and cardboard boxes of rubble, to protect against bomb blast.
Equipping a 'refuge room': the area for living, eating,
drinking, reading and listening to the
Stage in the production of an
Anderson shelter in a back garden. This one has an extra gas-proof filtration
facility which can be worked by electrical or manual treadle labour.
Protecting walls and windows of a 'refuge room' with
sandbags stacked outside, to protect against bomb blast.
Equipping a 'refuge room': the area for sleeping
French-style inflatable 'balloon' shelter. Said to
be quick to inflate but expensive. [I think it very unlikely that it
would be quick to inflate!]
Window of strengthened glass (left) and celluloid
(right) to prevent shattering.
Inside a gas-proofed shelter.
How to recognise an
incendiary bomb which causes
A manual pump known as a 'stirrup pump'.
A light-weight power pump in action.
How to take off a gas mask.
Gas mask for the services - with a longer active
period than civilian gas masks.
Supply depot for gas masks.
Gloucester Gauntlet interception fighter planes.
Pilots running to take off.
Anti-Aircraft barrage balloons for the defence of
Putting out an incendiary bomb with water from a
Putting our an incendiary bomb by scooping it into
a container which could be carried out of the house.