WWII: Outbreak | Britain on the brink of World War II
Director of Staff Administration: [Name to be inserted here]
TO: [Name to be inserted here]
WORK DURING PERIODS OF AIR RAID WARNINGS
It is very desirable that programmes and rehearsals should not be interrupted
more than is necessary by frequent air raid warnings, and it is understood that
many members of the staff would prefer to be allowed to go on working during
these warnings as far as possible.
Certain studios have been treated so that they are proof as far as is practi
cable against splinters, which are the most common cause of air raid casualties.
Staff and artists who are agreeable to continue work during the warnings will
be allowed to do so in these studios. (The choice is entirely at the discretion
of the individual concerned.)
Look-outs will be posted who will give the alarm should anti-aircraft fire or
activity on the part of raiding aircraft be observed in the neighbourhood; and
on the alarm being given, work will be stopped by the Programme Assistant, and
staff and artists will go at once to the shelters. A notice to this effect will
be posted in these studios.
Staff and artists in offices, untreated studios, etc. will go as at present to
shelters on the sounding of the air raid warning.
The Corporation is anxious to ensure that staff concerned are acquainted with
the position, and you are therefore asked to acknowledge receipt of this
memorandum by completing the slip below. (The eligibility of permanent staff
for discretionary treatment under the second paragraph, Section 4, page 4, of
Staff Regulations, 1938 will not be affected by their continuing to work
during warning periods.)
Director of Staff Administration
W St J Pym
I acknowledge receipt of your memorandum of [Date to be inserted here] headed "Work during periods of Air Raid Warnings".
Date [To be inserted here] Signed [Name to be inserted here]
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Document Type | Memo
In this memo from the BBC 'War Book', the Director of Staff Administration outlines the precautions taken to protect BBC employees from air raids. Some studios have been made shatter-proof to allow for staff to continue working during an air raid, should they choose. All other workers must take cover in the shelters. Look-outs will help to notify staff of an air raid.
Broadcasting House suffered bomb damage several times during World War II. One such incident involved a delayed-action bomb that fell through the building and landed in the Music Library on the fifth floor, where it exploded an hour later. The News Department on the same floor was caught in the blast and seven people were killed in the incident.
Chamberlain returns from a meeting with Hitler in Bad Godesberg.
The BBC announces Britain's home defence measures.
Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation after one of his last meetings with Hitler.
Richard Dimbleby is at the scene of Chamberlain's return from Munich.
News extract on one aspect of British home defence measures - gas masks.
An inside report from Czechoslovakia on the German occupation.
Germany proposes a settlement to the Polish problem.
Children from London depart for an unknown destination in the countryside.
'Germany has invaded Poland and has bombed many towns.'
'This country is at war with Germany' announces the Prime Minister.
The King calls for courage and faith in the battle ahead.
The ultimatum to Germany is due to expire at 11.00am.
The Battle of the Atlantic begins as the first British ship is sunk by the Germans.
Teachers and a schoolgirl describe settling down in the country.
Evacuees from Manchester discuss their new lives.
The Foreign Secretary speaks after two months of war.
A message of hope and encouragement to the women of Europe.
How various hospitals in London prepared for war.
Personal memories of the outbreak of World War II.
A reporter remembers Poland in the summer of 1939.
What will the BBC's role be during war?
Precautions to protect staff from air raids.
Plans for variety programmes during wartime.
Defence: the Corporation's plans in the event of war.
Plans for the 'Radio Times' during wartime.
'This department will have to stand by in a period of comparative chaos.'
The front cover of the 'Radio Times' from the pre-war edition.
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's broadcast to the nation.
The front cover of the 'Radio Times' from the wartime revised edition.
Are the headquarters of the BBC in danger from an air attack?
Is there a need to camouflage the headquarters of the BBC?
Remember your gas mask.
A collection of photographs from the BBC archives on the outbreak of World War II.
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