Collection AR132 - Tenterden Road Fire Watchers Log Book

Identity area

Reference code



Tenterden Road Fire Watchers Log Book


  • 24 Feb 1941- 18 Sep 1944 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 volume

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The pressure on the Fire Brigades during the heavy bombing on the London area in the winter of 1940/1 led to the formation of Street Fire Parties.

Because at any time there might b/e too many fires for the fire services to deal with; members of the general public were therefore formed into fire fighting parties, under the control of the Fire Brigade and known at first as Supplementary Street Fire Parties. This is reflected in the date of commencement of this log book.

Later in 1941 an Order was made compelling all men between the ages of eighteen and sixty to register for Civil Defence duties, and fire watching duties, to secure that not only homes but business premises as well were guarded at all times. These were under the Warden Service.

A Street Leader was appointed and the men in the street formed rotas to watch night and day. They were trained to use stirrup pumps in quenching small fires directly they occurred and the normal incendiary bomb, and later they learned to deal with the heavy explosive incendiary. Each wore a steel helmet and brassard and, after a simple examination, was given a card indicating that he was trained.

A second Order, in 1942, brought women between the ages of twenty and forty five into the scheme as fire guards and also compelled certain men who had been exempted from fire duties at their places of employment now to undertake them and the women filled the gaps in street fire parties. By this Order owners of business premises and factories were required to produce a fire guard scheme, in conjunction with adjacent premises where that would be more effective. Altogether about fifty thousand men and women did fire duties.

Archival history

Transferred from Local Studies Library collection qS70(355.23)TEN. Previous history unknown.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Accession Number: A411

Tenterden Road Fire Watchers Logbook

Item date: 1941-1944

Accession date: 27/11/1999

Custodial history: Transferred from Local Studies Library collection qS70(355.23)TEN

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Log book of Tenterden Road Fire Watchers. The log book records incidents or otherwise recorded between 6pm and 7am daily together with signature of the fire watcher on duty. It contains detailed times of air raid incidents.

Note in the front cover records that the object of this book is to compile an accurate record of the Tenterden Road Fire Watchers. As it may well prove to be of service to us, either collectively or indvidually, should evidence be required regarding duty periods or claims for compensation etc, it is essential that all details should be correctly entered..

A note at the rear, signed by J.G.Chesher (of 20 Tenterden Road, leader of the Tenterden Road Fire Watchers) and dated 13 September 1944 indicates that an order had been received to end the fire watching rota and log book on the night of Sunday 17 September 1944.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some of the records in our collections contain sensitive and personal data that we have a legal responsibility to control access to. In these circumstances, staff may search the collection on your behalf, having received consent or proof of death of the individual concerned.

Please contact us at for further information regarding the particular collection you wish to access.

You can make a request for information which may be in a closed record under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations, 2004. For more information about making a request, see the Croydon Council website ( Making a request does not guarantee access to the information you ask for, as there may be a valid exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion





Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places