Gas attack

Fears of gas attack


Gas had been used with terrifying effects in World War One by both sides. In the end, no gas attacks took place in the air raids, but everyone had been issued with gas masks, and carried them in case of danger. Children and babies had their own 'styles'. A set of cigarette cards of the time suggested a method of making a door safe. One wonders how effective this would have been.

The next three recollections are from The War Years, and are used with permission)


Maureen McCusker (from Dolphin Lane school)
A cardboard box holding a gas mask was a necessity.  We had to hold them up after registration and a handkerchief in the other hand – much importance was put on having a clean hanky – sometimes even pinned to our jumper. 


Eunice Essex (née Nicolle)
I remember we attended school either mornings or afternoons and we were encouraged to wear our gas masks.  My sister Brenda was seven and she hated it.  She would not put it on if she could get out of it.  I remember how horrible and smelly they were – like very strong rubber.  Younger children had masks like Mickey Mouse.


Margaret Linforth  (née Manning)
When the war first started we didn’t have to come to school for a few weeks.  Then we must remember to bring our gas masks and we must wear our ‘Identity Tags’ round our necks!!


Information from a set of Churchman's cigarette cards by Peter Risbey




What to do about gas



Acocks Green's vulnerability

Air Raid Precautions and civil defence

Air raid shelters 

Anti-aircraft and barrage balloons

Bombing maps


Gas attack

High explosive bombs

Incendiary bombs

Killed and injured

Rover shadow factory at the Vineries

Strafing incidents

Austerity and saving resources

Dig for Victory

Food in wartime


Prisoners of war

Women in wartime

Extracts from the wartime diary of Frank Taylor Lockwood

Memories of a child's life in Tyseley, by Alexander Hook

Memories of Acocks Green school, by Alexander Hook

Memories of Acocks Green, by Arthur Cundall


The end of the war



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