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How To Make An Air Raid Shelter

September 1938

Mexborough and Swinton Times September 30, 1938

How To Make An Air Raid Shelter

The sketch illustrates an emergency trench to accommodate six persons. It is drawn from designs prepared at the Home Office and can be rapidly prepared in a garden.

It consists of a shelter 4 feet 6 inches deep and 4 feet 6 inches wide at the top, narrowing to 3 feet 6 inches at the bottom. The trench should be 10 feet long to accommodate six persons. It can be covered either with corrugated iron or planks resting on sandbags, sacks or old boxes, filled with earth from the trench.

The covering should be slightly sloped to allow for drainage and the roof should be held down with several inches of earth, piling the remaining soil against the boxes or sandbags. A short length of roof should be left free to admit the occupants.

The floor of the trench should slope slightly to allow water to drain into a hole large enough to admit a bucket at the lower end. Cinders or old boards would keep the floor dry. If the space of the garden allows the trench should be dug at least twenty feet from the house to avoid the risk of falling wreckage.

Although a shelter of this type is not gas-proof it affords excellent protection against blast and splinters from high explosive bombs. Occupants should take gas masks with them into the trench in case of gas attack.