Stirrup pump demonstration

Filmed by A.E. Reneson Coucher OBE

Copyright Family Keen

Female volunteer warden tacking a blaze in training. The volunteer is here using a stirrup pump, the most basic piece of fire-fighting equipment used by ARP wardens and auxiliary firemen during the war. Water was pumped by hand from fire-buckets and was used to tackle the smallest of house blazes during the Blitz. Large numbers were also issued to householders during 1939-45.

Many women volunteered for Civil Defence duties across Britain when local authorities issued the call in September 1939. A number were to die during air raids during the Blitz, both in the capital and in 18 provincial cities across the nation.

For more information about the colour footage contact the Imperial War Museum by email at

Civil defence practice

Filmed by A.E. Reneson Coucher OBE

This page was added by Camilla Bergman on 06/09/2010.

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