Caernarfonshire County Council Archives, Papers of the Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence Departments

Scope and Content

Records of Caernarfonshire County Council Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence departments, 1935-1970, including records of the ARP and Civil Defence during wartime regulations and control, 1935-1949, consisting of Clerk's Department administrative records and personnel files, 1936-1949; Surveyor's Department records, 1939-1946; County Treasurer's Department, 1938-1947; application records, 1935-1940; publications relating to ARP and Civil Defence matters, 1938-1944; circulars relating to ARP and Civil Defence matters, 1939-1945; manuals, 1942-1944; County Surveyor's registers, 1940; equipment and stores books, 1939-1945; ARP registers, 1940-1942; records relating to emergency petrol supplies, 1939-1941; miscellaneous ARP records, 1941-1943; Civil Defence Department records, 1939-1970, consisting of: recruitment, training and administrative records, 1949-1968; records relating to the welfare function of Civil Defence, 1950-1965; records relating to county highways, 1941-1966; application records, 1963-1967; training and equipment records, 1950-1968; booklets and pamphlets, 1939-1970; and manuals, 1964-1967.

Administrative / Biographical History

The need for precautions to protect the civilian population from air attack was seen as early as 1935, but the real precautionary measures began in 1937, with the establishment in Wales of ARP Committees by the local councils and the setting up of the Air Raid Warden Service. Local control centres were set up in Caernarfonshire. In the event of an attack, the wardens' duties were to advise the local people where the shelters were, to report the fall of bombs and any fires in their sector, to check on damage, to guide the police and the fire brigade to incidents, and to assist the public to new places of shelter. When the Blackout Regulations began to be eased in September 1944, there was a general reduction in ARP activities. The Caernarfonshire Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence Service was run by an executive Emergency Committee during the Second World War. After the war, Civil Defence was administered more conventionally, like other County Council departments.


Arranged into two groups: ARP and Civil Defence under wartime regulations and control; and post-War County Civil Defence Department.

Access Information

No restrictions


Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Caernarfon Record Office, Archifau Cyngor Sir Gaernarfon: Papurau Adrannau Rhagofalon Ymosodiadau o'r Awyr ac Amddiffyn Sifil, 1936-1970/ Caernarfonshire County Council Archives: Papers of the Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence Departments, 1936-1970; Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for the Civil Defence - Air Raid Precautions (Glamorgan County Area); O Brien, Terence H., Civil Defence (London, 1955).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available in Caernarfon Record Office and the National Library of Wales. The catalogue is available online.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Caernarfon Record Office have been retained.

Custodial History

The records relating to Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence Service were discovered among the records of a number of Caernarfonshire County Council departments. The records were formed into a single group. Files from the Clerk's Department were transferred to modern records limbo where they were weeded and selected for permanent preservation. The records retain the order they were given during this process.


Accruals are not expected

Geographical Names