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The War Years

On the outbreak of war the Group volunteered for local War Service and started by filling sandbags for the Air Raid Precautions Services. On the 6th September, 1939, the Group started a voluntary 12-hour nightly Messenger Service, first for the ARP, then for the Army Fire Service (AFS) and finally for the National Fire Service (NFS). When this form of service was made compulsory in 1943 the Northfleet Branch of Civil Defence was manned entirely from volunteers from the group until VE Day, 1945.

During the war the Group had members servicing across most of the services. Those left at home supported in every possible war effort activity; waste paper collections, erecting air raid shelters, fire watching patrols etc. and in addition found time to run dances and shows. They also provided parcels to local prisoners-of-war, Territorial Soldiers and members of the group away fighting with the Armed Forces.

Towards the end of the war the group met with a major setback when Astoria Hall, the Headquarters, was sold. The Den, never completely out of use, again became the sole meeting place for the group.

Efforts began to find a new permanent home and the Group wrote to Mr Winston Churchill, Prime Minister, at the war department requesting use of a building in Vale Road. The timing wasn't great. The Prime Minister received the letter on June 5th 1944, one day before D-Day. When his response eventually came it explained that he was unfortunately occupied by more serious matters at that time.


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