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Lincolnshire Special Constabulary Bulletin No. 4 – October, 1940


Warfare

LINCOLNSHIRE SPECIAL CONSTABULARY.

EL.

P.R.DEPT.

County Constabulary Headquarters,

LINCOLN.

7th. November, 1940.

BULLETIN NO: 4 : OCTOBER, 1940.

The number of Special Constables who were sworn in and performed effective duty this month was 3,911. An improvement in the training has been effected during the month of October, and 53 men were trained in H.E. and I.B., and  the total trained is reported as 2786. Seventyseven men were trained in anti-gas, bringing the total to 2750. Eightyfive men were trained in First Aid, bringing the total to 1975. The number of cases in which proceedings have been taken under the Lighting (Restrictions) Order is 67. In order to foster a spirit of competition between the various Divisions, the training figures are shown hereunder in respect of each Division, and it will be noticed that Gainsborough Division is ahead, followed closely by Cleethorpes Division. It is hoped that all concerned will make a special effort to improve the figures for First Aid which, it will be noticed, are particularly bad.

Division

No. sworn in

H.E. & I.B.

Anti-Gas

Police Duties

First Aid

Proceedings

under the

Lighting

Order

Cleethorpes

540

451

373

398

347

5

Gainsborough

448

432

409

354

332

9

Louth

475

327

343

169

262

10

Scunthorpe

648

312

365

287

160

8

Skegness

350

215

214

213

187

5

Sleaford

363

280

267

227

241

13

Stamford

430

347

347

320

211

10

Spalding

657

422

432

330

235

7

 

3911

2786

2750

2298

1975

67

 

The following Special Constables have been thanked during the month of October :-

Special Constable H.A.Martin of the Scunthorpe Division, for his work in connection with the larceny of some bricks.

Special Constable Lidgett of the Louth Division, for his the arrest of a deserter from H.M.Forces.

Section Leader Crowson and Special Constables Richardson and Lynnof the Stamford Division, for detecting the larceny of some petrol by R.A.F.personnel.

Section Leader MacKinder and Special Constable Rowson of the Skegness Division, for the detection of the larceny of some coal

Section Leader Forrest of the Gainsborough Division, for his services at an aeroplane crash.

It appears that these bulletins are proving a success and becoming of increasing importance. Sufficient copies are, therefore, being distributed for issue to all ranks.

The new summons reports, recently issued, are also proving a success. It appears that in one section these reports are, owing to a misunderstanding, being submitted through Section Leaders and Section Commanders for signature prior to transmission to the regular Police. There is no necessity for this and, in future issues, which will be extended, the spaces for signatures will be omitted. The absorbent quality of the paper on which these summons forms are duplicated renders them unsuitable for use with ink and, therefore, copying ink pencil may be used instead.

NIGHT LAMPS

A further 100 night lamps have been issued to each Division, and the remaining red discs for insertion in the upper half of the glass have now arrived and are being issued. It has not been possible to obtain supplies of the normal type of police night lamp with a movable red disc and half-moon discs of a celluloid material are, therefore, being supplied with the lamps of the cycle pattern which have recently been issued. These discs should be fitted on the upper half of the glass so that the user can screen the lower half with his hand, so as to show a red light.

LIGHTING REGULATIONS – Vehicle Lighting.

Further modifications of the regulations governing vehicle lighting have been made by the Minister of Home Security :-

          1.  Side and rear lights and stop lights.

              (a)  The aperture through which light is emitted must be a circle 1” in diameter (neither more nor less), and

              (b)  the light must be dimmed so that, while it is clearly visible at a distance of 30 yards, it becomes invisible at 300 yards.

          2.  Use of headlights after (Red) Air Raid Warning.

The use of the masked headlamp will be permitted on a vehicle while it is on a road and proceeding on its journey. The use of the headlight is prohibited when the vehicle is stationary, but this will not apply to cases where a vehicle stops owing to exigencies of traffic, or in order to comply with any traffic signal or direction or to a public service vehicle stopping to pick up or set down passengers.

3.  Public Service Vehicles, Tramcars and Trolley Vehicles.

(a)          Interior Lighting. No more than three lights on each deck may be retained after the purple or red warning, in addition to the stop light, which may also be retained.

(b)         Exterior lighting of Tramcars.       Where there are two lights displayed in accordance with the regulations, the equivalent of the sidelight should be reduced to 1” in diameter and dimmed to conform with the authorised sidelight, but, where there is one light only it has been decided not to require any reduction in the aperture of 2” in diameter at present permitted.

The above is a resumé of the full particulars which have been circulated to all members of the Regular Force, and further information may be obtained on enquiry.

note :- the Regional Commissioner is alarmed at the number of motorists who have made little or no effort to conform to these regulations. All ranks should, therefore, take steps to enforce the regulations rigorously, for ample time has now been given for the necessary adjustments to be made.

PETROL AND PHOSPHORUS GRENADES.

With reference to the above paragraph in Bulletin No. 3, the words from – “The bottle has two matches” .. to .. “some means of ignition has been used”, relate to the ‘Molotov Cocktail’, and not to the petrol and phosphorus grenades, which are self-igniting. The words should, therefore, be struck out.

enemy air activity.

Balloons.      The enemy are using balloons for dropping leaflets and some have been found in this County. They measure 10ft. by 6ft. and have a cardboard box attached, containing a clockwork device which is fixed to the balloon by a piece of string, which goes from the base of the balloon through the lid of the box to the clockwork mechanism inside. In an aperture alongside the clock is a small battery, and a small explosive charge releases the leaflets. These balloons must be handled with care and forwarded to Divisional Headquarters.

Metal Cones.       German metal cones and other objects are being washed up on our shores. They must not be touched by any unauthorised persons. The cones, which may contain a small H.E. charge, are particularly liable to detonate when standing with the pointed end uppermost.

New Incendiary Bomb.

The information hereunder must not be published nor referred to by implication in any newspaper or magazine or any article therein.

A new German 1 kilo bomb has been found with a small black container, 1” diameter and 1¼” long, screwed into the taper end, (i.e., just below the tail fin). This container holds a small H.E.charge. Explosion may be expected three to five minutes after the bomb has started to function. The explosive effect is not great, but there is a loud crack and pieces of burning magnesium may be thrown a considerable distance. Protection for persons dealing with the bomb, either with a stirrup pump or a long handled shovel, is afforded by a wet blanket, folded double, hanging over the left arm, (i.e. four thicknesses), and held so that, when the bomb is approached, the blanket hangs from the arm and shields the face, body and legs. It is not certain that every incendiary bomb will be fitted with this H.E.charge, but, where it is necessary to approach a 1 kilo bomb, the above precautions, or the best available substitute in lieu, should be observed.

Small incendiary bombs of this type are sometimes found unignited. The army is responsible for their ultimate disposal, but it is important that Bomb Disposal Units should not be diverted from the more urgent task of dealing with unexploded bombs. They will, therefore, be removed by the Police or the A.R.P. Authorities to a place of safety, and kept there pending ultimate disposal by the Bomb Disposal Unit. These bombs may safely be moved if they are carried in a horizontal position or lying embedded in sand or earth in a box or biscuit tin. They should then be stored in a trench or water on open ground, to which access by unauthorised persons is prohibited.

Parachute Mines.      In order to avoid confusion, the term “land mind” should not be used when reporting the dropping of parachute mines. The term “land mine” has its own military meaning. Nor may the words “aerial torpedo” be used to describe other large bombs or mines. A torpedo is and object which is propelled under water. The Admiralty again stress the risk of detonating parachute mines, by causing even slight movement near them. Great care must be exercised in the movement of persons in the immediate vicinity. The presence of a parachute or the presence of a cone-shaped container designed to hold a parachute, or broken cords, enables a mine to be recognised without going near.

Small H.E.Bombs.     The Germans are dropping 3 lb. H.E. bombs, having an inner cast iron case, and an outer tin case, 3½”x 3½”. The outer tin case is said to hinge open on the bomb striking the ground, but usually remains attached. These bombs explode if handled; and the public should be warned  not to touch them. They make no crater in the ground, but, when touched, spring open, explode and release buckshot, causing wounds resembling gunshot wounds. There is no need to evacuate buildings. A sandbag enclosure should be built round such bombs. Until sandbag protection is provided, it is desirable to exclude persons, and to suspend traffic which is within direct range without cover, up to 100 yards. When sandbag protection is completed, and danger notices exhibited, normal traffic may be resumed. The presence of these bombs should be reported through the usual channels, and described as a small anti-personnel unexploded bomb. (Abbreviated small UXAPB).

FALSE RUMOURS.

Special Constables and Regular Police should use the knowledge published in these bulletins, to deny any false rumours, or exaggerated stories that come to their notice. In this connection, it may be stated that no gas has been used in this County, although, in one town, owing to a farmer using a particularly strong kind of manure on his land, some persons put on their gas masks and genuinely believed a gas attack had taken place, and spread the story about. One or two gas scares have occurred outside the County and Gas Identification Officers have made investigations, but, in every case, the reports have been ascertained to be false.

A rumour has also been in circulation concerning cobwebs, causing blisters to the skin, being dropped by the enemy. The substance has been examined and found to be a common type of cobweb produced by spiders in certain parts of the country; it happened to have been in contact with the ordinary stinging nettle, and it was a sting from contact with a nettle leaf caught up in the cobweb material which caused the substance to be suspected.

ROADS – Danger from insecure loads of sugar beet.

The Military Authorities have requested attention to be directed to the danger, particularly during black-out hours, of the loose roots of sugar beet on the roads, to motor-cycle despatch riders, of whom there are many in this County. Several accidents from this cause occurred in the country last year, and it is pointed out that roots on the road are almost certain to fetch a rider off his machine during the black-out.

All members of the Regular Police and Special Constabulary should, therefore, pay particular attention to dumps by the roadside, and to the loading of lorries. In this connection, attention is directed to the offence, under Regulations 67 and 94, Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations, 1937, of causing or permitting a motor vehicle or trailer to be used on the road with an insecure load.

GLASS.

With reference to Bulletin No.2, attention is again directed to the danger of flying glass. Splinters of broken glass have already caused numbers of casualties. Where light screens are fitted, as a protection against both glass and the emission of light, they should fit as close to the glass as possible. When broken glass is “on the flat”, it is easily stopped, but if it is allowed space in which to get up speed and turn “on edge”, it has great powers of penetration. Adhesive treatments fall into four types, which have been arranged in approximate order of decreasing strength :-

1)                     Textile materials.      These afford good protection. Any fabric stuck with water adhesive (e.g. gum, glue, paste), must not be washed, and even tend to come unstuck if the windows get damp. This can be improved either by varnishing over the whole of the fabric,  or at least the edges, or by securing the edges with adhesive tape; instead of water adhesive, dope, varnish of lacquer may be used, and should be brushed or sprayed on the glass and the fabric pressed into place while the surface is still tacky.

2)                    Transparent films.     Cellulose film, whether plain or self-adhesive, is affected by moisture, which causes wrinkling. Coat of good pale varnish or lacquer applied over the film helps to prevent absorption of moisture from the air.

3)                     Strip Treatment.       The strips of paper should not be less than 1½”wide, and should be spaced with not more than 6” of clear glass between them. Narrower strips should be placed correspondingly closer.

4)                    Liquid coatings.         A liquid coating is not expected to give effective anti-scatter treatment on panes larger than 4 ft. square. This class includes rubber latex, synthetic resins and other compositions. They are , apparently, easy to apply, but, in practice, it is not easy to get a coat of satisfactory thickness. A note of caution is sounded here : Many proprietary materials of this class have been advertised with extravagant claims. Few have survived three months’ exposure. Purchasers of these materials should ask for a written guarantee from the makers, that the material offered is identical with that tested by the Building Research Station.

ANTI-GAS POLICY – Advice to the Public.

It has been observed that people going into public shelters are not, in all cases, taking their respirators with them. Whilst people who have not got respirators cannot be refused admission, they should be reminded of the need for taking them. Steps should also be taken to encourage people whose respirators have been lost or damaged, through air attack, to have them replaced, and, in this connection, it is pointed out that no charge will be made in respect of loss or damage occurring during an air raid or during a period when a public air raid warning is in operation in the area in which the loss or damage occurs.

CARE IN MAINTENANCE OF STEEL HELMETS.

Considerable requests for the provision of additional supplies of nuts and bolts for steel helmets, for replacement purposes, have been received by the authorities. It is felt that these losses of nuts and bolts must, in some degree, be due to want of care on the part of the individual, as all that is required to keep them in position is periodical tightening of the bolt on the top of the helmet with a screw driver. All ranks should give this matter their attention.

 DAMAGE TO OVERHEAD ELECTRICITY SUPPLY LINES.

The maintenance of a continuous and efficient supply of electricity via the overhead lines of the Central Electricity Board, referred to as the “Grid”, is of vital importance, and the Board are anxious to be informed as soon as it is known or suspected that damage has been done to the lines. Damage may be caused to the system by an H.E. bomb falling within a distance of 300 yards from the lines or towers. All ranks should, therefore, be prepared to report the possibility of damage being caused to the lines, when a bomb explodes within this distance, in addition, of course, to reporting obvious damage to such lines, whether it be that damage has been caused by enemy action, drifting balloons, or our own aircraft. The reports should go through the usual channels.

[Duplicator skin signed] R. H. Fooks

Chief Constable.


Commentary

From early in the Second World War, after the Fall of France, special constables (part-time volunteer policemen) in Lincolnshire were informed of wartime developments and their morale maintained, by a small (typically 8 pp. 215 x 139 mm) booklet, issued to them by Lincolnshire Constabulary. The earlier issues were however, foolscap sheets (328 x 203 mm), stapled together at the top left corner. It appeared monthly until No. 27, of September 1942, when restrictions on the use of paper ended its monthly run. It was replaced by an occasional (roughly one in two months) training pamphlet, beginning November 1942.

However, with issue 4, the one transcribed here, its circulation was increased. Numbers 5 to 27 were in the smaller format and printed by J.W.Ruddock of Lincoln, rather than by duplicator. I have selected this issue for transcription as it is the earliest I have, probably because the name of the man to whom it was issued, Special Constable V. Gilbert, had not earlier been on the distribution list.

Abbreviations :-

A.R.P. = Air Raid Precautions – This was a branch of the Civil Defence organisation, as well as the precautions themselves.

H.E. = high explosive.

H.M. Forces = His Majesty’s Forces.

I.B. = incendiary bomb.

R.A.F. = Royal Air Force.


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