Fire Service Badges

silver badge In July 1938 the Government created the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) to augment the fire brigade in wartime. These part-time fireman were recognised by the issue of a lapel badge first issued in August 1938 after completion of sixty hours training, reduced in June 1939 to one month of membership. The badge was made of sterling silver until June 1939 when it became white metal.

Two types were issued, one with a stud fixing for men and another with a pin fixing for women volunteers.

A second lapel badge design is illustrated below, but this may date from the reformed AFS of the Post-war period.


AFS cap badge NFS cap badge Both the Auxiliary Fire Service(AFS) and National Fire Service (NFS), founded in August 1941 from an amalgamation of the AFS and nearly 1 000 local fire brigades, wore similar distinctive chrome cap badges.
The NFS uniform buttons were initially made of a white metal, but were later replaced by black plastic buttons as an economy measure.

NFS button1 NFS button2

A solitary lapel badge has been found, similar in design to the NFS cap badge but in a gold coloured metal.


The fire services could not monitor all buildings so civilians were trained to locate and tackle incendiary bombs in the first moments after they fell when they were comparatively easy to extinguish. These 'Fire Watchers' were issued with an armband.

Fire Guard armband

In 1948 the Civil Defence Act re-established the Auxiliary Fire Service and the Civil Defence Corps as a result of the Government's concern over the deteriorating relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Two uniform badges from this era are illustrated below.

AFS cloth1 AFS cloth2

The AFS was disbanded in 1968 along with the rest of the Civil Defence.

Copyright 2002 Peter N. Risbey.