Bolton Remembers the War Logo
Frank Howcroft - The Diary of an Air Raid Warden - March 1941
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Bolton ARP Handbook


Mar 11 1941

After a respite of a month the sirens sounded the “alert” about 21-20 and I carried out my usual patrol using the whistle as I went. On my way round I was questioned concerning whether it was in order to whistle to augment the alert, now that short blasts must be used for incendiary bombs. As we have received no order to quit using the whistle it is permissible, and I replied to this effect. Aircraft had been heard in the vicinity long before the sirens and bombing and “AA” fire were in progress when we met at the rendezvous. Manchester and Liverpool were the objects of the nights visit. Bolton got another dud “AA” shell, but nothing else occurred locally and we were relieved from duty when the “Raiders Passed” sounded at 23-40 hours.

Mar 12 1941

About 20-40 the sirens sounded an “alert”. I was at an orchestral concert and the sirens must have gone when the last item was being rendered. As soon as I got in the street, there were several parachute flares over towards the West, and it looked as though Liverpool was for it again. I made straight for our contact point and we had quite a crowd of seven wardens and more than that number of fire watchers. Loaded aircraft passed continually overhead. Manchester as well came in for another dose, but we did not witness any fires. The moon was full and it was a brilliantly clear night, but the cold was intense, by far the coldest night we have been on duty. Shortly before 00-00 hours Mr. Brabin and I left for home as it was not our turn for the alert. At 03-15 the “Raiders Passed” sounded.

Mar 14 1941

After a free night the sirens sounded the alert at 20-55. As usual, I went round with the whistle and surely bumped into trouble. Again I was taken to task as being out of order, even by two wardens who should have known better. I was advised to read orders, and two of the party said I would be reported. Good, I hope they do. As soon as we met at the rendezvous distant rumbles told us of gunfire and bombs in action. Many searchlights swept the sky in search of prey but did not locate any. Many of the Jerry machines were pretty low, as they could be plainly heard, labouring through the sky with their loads of destruction. Manchester and Liverpool were again the targets in chief with a little towards the North. Mr. Brabin and I took this alert, and we were glad the night was not so bitter as the 12 th . About 00-30 the other wardens and the fire watchers left for home to stand by, and Mr. Brabin and I repaired to the post for a time. After that we went to our own rendezvous and made a hot drink. Shortly after the “Raiders Passed” sounded at 02-35 so we immediately left for home.

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