Thursday, 16 December 2010

Friend or foe?

You could be forgiven for thinking this picture is from a Dr Who set. In fact, it is from a book published in 1947, The Metropolitan Police at War

The book records the work of the Metropolitan Police during the years 1939-45.
They lent a hand at any job from helping, encouraging and rescuing the public.
The book describes their new duties and how they tackled everything from the day-to-day police work to the strange new tasks, including black out duties, bomb reconnaissance, crashed aircraft, straying barrage balloons, dealing with pigeons and fireworks.
There are small chapters that highlight the work of the police; one is about the mounted branch that explains how the horses were trained: "the police horse has to be proof against suprise," he is taught to ride through fire and to stand quietly no matter what the noise level is.
Another chapter concentrates on women police: "London's small force of women police had a strenuous war. The number of jobs which can be better done by women than by men is greater even in war than in peace."
How did I come across this book? At present we are doing an audit check of the Official Publications collection and are cataloguing all those that are not already in our database.

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