Defence Schemes

Each Emergency / Invasion Committee would probably have produced a Civil Defence Scheme; locations with a military garrison would have produced a combined Military and Civil Defence scheme.

For guidance, the office of the Eastern Regional Commissioner (and approved by Eastern Command) produced a ‘model’ Combined Military and Civil Defence scheme. This would start by describing the local area including transport routes. Next the enemy’s probable invasion plan would be outlined and the likely impact on the town or parish; for example in the plan for Bury St Edmunds, heavy bombing could be expected as it was a nodal point but, due to its inland location, airborne attacks were not expected until the invasion was well advanced.

The scheme would then deal with the following:

• Names, addresses and telephone no’s of members of the committee and other officials.

• Address and telephone no’s of military and civil authorities.

• Statistics and facts relating to the population, houses, buildings and resources of the area.

• Arrangements and duties of the various civil services (Police, ARP Warden, Rescue and Decontamination, Fire Service, Food, Casualty Services, Labour, Water, Homeless, Messenger, Sanitation / Burial ) in case of emergency / invasion.

• Arrangements for collaborating with the military.

• Arrangements for enlisting the cooperation of the public.

• Action to be taken by the committee on the receipt of invasion warning messages.

A map should also accompany the scheme to show all useful information (e.g. Headquarters, Civil Defence Services and Defended Localities).

Of the surviving records of Parish Invasion Committees in the Suffolk Records Office, some only contain the Committee minutes while others have both the Civil Defence scheme and minutes surviving.

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