****** 1939 ******

As the country faced the prospect of war there was no shortage of volunteers to take up the posts of defenders in Darwen. The perceived threat of massive air raids had prompted the need for an efficient service to deal with Air Raid Precautions and the associated threat of increased fire damage to property generated the Auxiliary Fire Service to complement the National Fire Service. The Emergency Powers(Defence Act) of 1938 had set things in motion, then in response to a lack of manpower in the army the Military Training Act of April 1939 made it a requirement that all single males between the age of 20 and 22 would do 6 months military training. The National Service (Armed Forces) Act of 3rd September 1939 required all males aged 18-41 to register so that conscription to the Armed Forces could be arranged. It would be 1941 before 40 year olds started receiving their registration cards. By the end of 1939 1.5 million men had been conscripted into the Armed Forces with 1.1 million of them going to the Army and the rest were divided between the Navy and the RAF.

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