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1939-45  • National Fire Service

NFS 1941 to 1948 • A Fire Service large enough to deal with a nation under attack. • Auxilliary Fire Service
NFS woman NFS cap badgeNFS20 (Llanishen) Cloth badgeNFS button
Fire fighting reqires physical strength and the Fire Services needed all available men to operate the engines, hoses and pumps.They were competing with the armed forces for recruits.
The enemy found that when bombing large cities an aircraft full with incendary bombs Small fire bomb which smashed through a roof setting fire to the building could do far more damage than a few heavy high explosive bombs. During the Blitz short for the German Blitzkrieg (lightning-war) the civilian fire service was not large enough to deal with the scale of fires caused by enemy bombing.
Extra firefighters had been recruited into the new Auxilliary Fire Service to suppliment the Regional Forces. The AFS amalgamated with regional forces in August 1941 to form the National Fire Service.

The majority of members in the National Fire Service were men but once again the Government turned to the women of Britain. Women in the NFS covered jobs as varied as control room staff to driving petrol supplies through the burning streets.


AFS London badgeThe Auxiliary Fire Service which had been formed before the outbreak of war was organised by town or city.
The new NFS was organised by numbered 'Fire Forces' within the Civil Defence Regions.
A circular cloth badge with this number in red was worn on the uniform breast pocket.
England and Wales had Fire Forces numbered 1 to 43 and Scotland 1 to 6.
AFS button
Men were needed by the armed forces and where ever possible in the NFS women replaced them. In 1943 over 32,000 women were serving in the NFS.

Above photograph endorsed "with love from Doreen"- NFS 9 is Fire Force Number 9 (Leicester)

NFS WomanNFS Officer