Original British WWII Air Raid Precautions ARPAX Fire Rescue Axe by Chillington Tool Co.
Original Item: Only One Available. The 'ARPAX' was manufactured by the Chillington Tool Company Limited of Wolverhampton and is notable for its rubber handle, subject to a patent applied for in June 1938 and finally granted in December 1939. Being encased in a tough rubber, the handle was claimed to be less liable to catch fire or break than the traditional wooden types, and would also protect the user from potentially fatal shocks if he or she happened to accidentally cut through electric cables. To this end, molded into the handle of this example is the comforting phrase TESTED 20.000 VOLTS. On the other side of the handle are details of the patent; earlier manufactures, such as this example, (presumably prior to December 1939 when the full patent was granted) bear the legend PRO PAT 19242 - 38, while later ones bear 'PATENT No. 515767'.
This example is also marked on the exposed shaft:
Covered overall in slight salt and pepper pitting, this is the real thing: a fire rescue axe used by the "first responders" during London's BLITZ Air Raids in the early 1940's. It has a heavy hard Rubber permanently attached handle cover with large curved blade axe head with spike protruding rearward. Measures 15 inches long, with a 7 inch long head. This style of axe was also used by both British and American bomber crews during WWII and after. The pre-patent marking indicates it was made circa 1939-40.
In fine operational condition and ready to display.
More about the A.R.P.:
Air Raid Precautions (ARP) was an organization in the United Kingdom set up in 1937 dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air raids. It included the Raid Wardens' Service that was to report on bombing incidents. Every local council was responsible for organizing ARP wardens, messengers, ambulance drivers, rescue parties and liaison with police and fire brigades.
September 1st, 1939, ARP Wardens enforced the "blackout". Heavy curtains and shutters were required on all private residences, commercial premises, and factories to prevent light escaping and so making them a possible target for enemy bombers to locate their targets. With increased enemy bombing during the Blitz, the ARP services were central in reporting and dealing with bombing incidents. They managed the air raid sirens and ensured people were directed to shelters.
From 1941 the ARP officially changed its title to Civil Defense Service to reflect the wider range of roles it then encompassed. During the war almost 7,000 Civil Defense workers were killed. In all some 1.4 million men and women served as ARP wardens during World War Two. The Civil Defense Service was stood down after the end of the war in Europe on 2 May 1945.
The ARP Services were to include several specialist branches. First Aid Parties were trained to give first response first aid to those injured in bombing incidents.
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