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Fire Bombs and how to deal with
Pontardawe AFS men killed
Use of Poison Gas
More FireWomen wanted
Bonfire Sequel
Superintendent Appointed
 
Fire Spotting Scheme
Safety first for Fire Fighters
New ARP Centre
Llandebie Saw Mills
Superintendent Wanted

Fire Watchers Grouse
 

Fire Watchers
Ammanford man gets George Medal
Fighting Crop Fires

Payment for Fire members

Super Applications Received

 

10th April 1941

 

THE USE OF POISON GAS.
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LETTER

 

TO THE EDITOR, AMMAN VALLEY CHRONICLE.

Sir, ― May I be allowed a little space in your paper to make a few suggestions concerning what the Home Office are now anticipating, that is, the use of poison gas by the enemy. We have, unfortunately, experienced the terrible effects of high explosives and incendiary bombs. What protection have we from poison gas? Surely we have more protection than the Allies had in 1915.

Let me quote the effects of the first German gas attack during the Great War of 1914-18.

The Germans had been waiting from February to April for suitable wind conditions to launch their first gas attack under the direction of Professor Haber of Germany, accompanied by gas pioneer troops, chemists and meteorologists.

On Thursday, April 22nd, 1915, the wind blew from the north. The weather was warm and sunny; 168 tons of chlorine was released from 5,730 cylinders on a six kilometre front. It was effective to a distance of five kilometres down wind. It took only five minutes to discharge the gas; the wind was blowing at two to three miles per hour.

The gas had been effectively liberated against the Allies, causing 5,000 deaths and 20,000 casualties all of which were unprotected.

In comparison to the above attack, it will not be necessary to-day for Germany to wait for suitable wind conditions, as they can deliver poison gas at any time. Today, every human being on the Home Front is supplied with a gas mask. Which gives complete protection (if properly adjusted) against all
non-persistent gases. Of course, one requires protection in addition to the gas mask against the terrible effects of persistent gases.

The difficulty that will arise will be to detect some of these gases, as I am afraid that only a small percentage of the already trained ARP personnel would be able to do so.

Now, in view of the above anticipated dangers, the Local Authorities responsible for the ARP should be assisted to educate the civilian population by giving a few elementary talks on the “Dangers of War Gases” and the precautions to be taken thereof, such as refuge rooms, protective clothing, cleansing, etc.

I am of the opinion that every organisation, especially religious organisations, should lose no time in forming ARP Committees of their own. Whether we like it of not, we have been chosen to live in an age that demands each of us to give to the utmost of our ability all our talents for the salvation of lives as well as souls, and for the prevention of any unnecessary suffering.

I am convinced that, if gas will be used extensively, the leaders of our churches will realise their responsibility to their members and all that ARP calls for, and will not be satisfied with an insertion in their magazine for the people to attend gas classes, or, as the majority of chapels, do nothing at all.

Service is a rent we pay for out room on this earth, and whatever is our political or religious faith, ARP is a challenge to every individual to do his or her duty to serve the nation. And if we serve the nation to the best of our ability we shall be serving the world; for on the British Empire the fate of civilisation as we know it may yet depend. In doing so, we shall not be sacrificing one single religious principle.

I am prepared to render every assistance, Yours, etc

ELWYN F. PRICE.
Home Office A.R.P.S., First Class.

“Waun-Rhys-Morris.”
Blaenau, Llandybie.

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