Order of the day to members of the civil defence (general) services



Order of the day to members of the civil defence (general) services


Notes demobilisation of civil defence services. Relates history of civil defence forces and notes that participants should be proud of service and take many memories, Thanks to all.



Temporal Coverage




One page typewritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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[underlined] ORDER OF THE DAY. [underlined]
[underlined] To Members of the Civil Defence (General) Services. [underlined]

The tide of war has at last receded from the homes of the people and the time is come when the Civil Defence (General) Services are being demobilised.

At this moment I wish to express to local authorities and their officers, to the men and women of those Services, and to all those who have shared as helpers in the post-raid organisations including members of the W.V.S., my deep gratitude for what they have done in the long years of war.

In the time of heaviest attack there were nearly two hundred thousand whole-time members of the Services and one million and a quarter part-time members. There are now only some thirty-five thousand whole-time members and considerably less than a million part-time members; and I do not forget in this expression of gratitude those who have already left the Services.

Before the first great attack fell on London in September, 1940, no man could say how the Civil Defence organisation would work or how the Services would respond to the calls upon them. Once the attack started the issue was never in doubt.

The local authorities and their officers did their share magnificently and local government justified to the full the confidence that had been placed in it. Of the members of the Services we must all speak with honour and high praise.

Whether it be the Wardens, or the Rescue Parties, the Ambulance and First Aid Post Services or those in the Report Centres, you all showed through those long nights and days of watchfulness, danger and toil, a loyalty to your Services, a devotion to those in suffering and peril, and an unfailing courage which have brought to your uniform an honour that takes rank with the historic emblems of British greatness.

Your Services are no longer required for active Civil Devence:. but the Country will have need of your spirit of comradeship and service in the difficult days ahead. Too much leisure has been taken from you during the war, it is a precious part of home and family life; but I hope you may be able to spare some of it for the neighbourly tasks of the community in which you live.

You will take with you many memories of which you will have a right to be very proud, but none of you will have a prouder or happier memory than I in being associated with you in this great task so well accomplished.

To each one of you I give my thanks as I bid you farewell and Godspeed.

My colleagues the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of Health, who have been associated with me in the administration of the Services are in the fullest accord with this message and have asked me to convey to you their thanks and good wishes.


Ministry of Home Security,
2nd May, 1945.



Herbert Morrison, “Order of the day to members of the civil defence (general) services,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 27, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17952.

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