A.R.P. Sector Plans of the Plymouth Blitz
(Air Raid Precautions)
another Steve Johnson Cyberheritage "content over style" web page
Portland Square at left, centre is the split of the city into sectors, while at right look at the little drawings of bombs alongside blitzed homes....this is North Prospect
A visit to that wonderful Alladin`s cave of the West Devon Record Office at Clare Place in Plymouth will reveal.....after asking the very helpful staff, copious quantities of maps from the 1940`s showing the exact ARP wartime emergency arrangements of Plymouth.
Locations of phone boxes, first aid posts, rest centres, stores, warden`s posts, surface shelters, underground air raid shelters, water hydrants, water tanks, fire stations, ambulance and police staions, hospitals,and barrage balloons are all marked with enthusiasm onto existing contemporary ordnance survey maps.Sometimes they are added in a professional fashion, authorities just a scribble. Either way they are a valuable record of public utilities and services in Plymouth during those wartime years. These additions can often be very crude, in pencil, pen or crayon.
Each air raid warden would have the appropriate maps relating to his patch...his sector, sectors were named, something along the lines of 3/G/1 or 3/G/2, or 2/H/1 etc. this made unambiguous emergency communications speedy and accurate. Bombed and damaged property was often coloured in red, sector boundaries often in purple or blue. Very often the occupants of each house would be marked on the map in the exact place of the house where they live. The reason for this was to enable speedy and accurate casualty and missing person reports.
The maps are large, often a meter square or more, so making them small enough for this web page has not been easy. There are so many to chose from. I have just picked a few at random. All Plymouth is covered, often in amazingly small detail.
PLYMOUTH GUILDHALL AND TOWN CENTRE
NORTH PROSPECT...note icons of bombs
DEVONPORT PARK...notice underground air raid shelters, denoted by "U.S."..."S"...."ARS" followed by a reference number
ALEXANDRA PARK....notice underground air raid shelters, denoted by "U.S."..."S"...."ARS" followed by a reference number and barrage balloon
THE BLOCKHOUSE...or MT. PLEASANT. notice underground air raid shelters, static water tank
"THE CRESCENT", CLOSE BY THE TOWN CENTRE
ST. JUDES....notice underground air raid shelters
HOUNDISCOMBE ROAD...notice underground air raid shelters
INVERDENE area of Peverell, note underground air raid shelter with red lines hatched across it. This shelter took a direct hit and, many were killed
PORTLAND SQUARE notice underground air raid shelter, see red lines hatched across it at top right. In 1941 it took a direct hit and 75 were killed, it being the single biggest loss of life in any one incident of the Plymouth Blitz. Also surrounding area
This very large map shows the division of Plymouth into many sectors
If want you seek is not here, I may well have it, so e-mail me and if pos I`ll mail you a scan.
e-mail Steve Johnson
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