Air Raid Wardens: A to G

ARP Badge

The 1939 Register identifies a number of Ruskington residents who volunteered to serve in this capacity.

The following have surnames beginning ‘A‘ to ‘G‘:

scroll down buttonSCROLL DOWN – to read more about these Ruskington men and women. 


ALLEN, Mona: was born on 25 October 1919, the daughter of Frederick (Farmer) and Gladys Mary (née Sewell) Allen. She had a younger brother, Edward. In 1939 they were living at ‘Southfield’, Station Road, Ruskington.

In the June quarter 1941 Mona married Geoffrey Newton, probably in All Saints’ Church, Ruskington. He was born on 6 May 1919, the son of John (Farmer) and Dorothy (née Brear) Newton, who lived on High Street North, near ‘The Red Lion’. Mona and Geoffrey had one child (not named here for privacy reasons).

They were living at 29 Lincoln Road, Ruskington, when Geoffrey died, aged 54, on 20 September 1973. Mona died on 14 January 2005, aged 85. They are buried together in Grave E.163, Ruskington Cemetery.


BRIGHTON, John Hugh: was born on 27 May 1907 and worked as a Secretary at the Pork and Bacon Factory on Sleaford Road. In 1939 he was living with his wife, Esme M.A., and their children, at ‘The Garth’, Westcliffe, Ruskington. John was 6 ft. (1.83 m.) tall, had brown and blue eyes. The 1939 Register has the notation “Organiser of voluntary w—— A.R.P.” alongside John’s name.

In 1911 John was living with his parents, Benjamin Ebeneezer (Grocer and Draper) and Kate Selina (née Elmitt), and older brother, Reginald, at New York, Wildmore, Lincolnshire. By 1939 Benjamin and Kate had also moved to Ruskington, living at ‘Lynton Lodge’, 47 Sleaford Road. Benjamin was the “Bacon Factory Manager“, just up the road. He had also volunteered to help the War effort as “Food supply organizer for petrol supplies” – see

On 2 May 1934 he married Esme Muriel Alicen Reding, All Saints’ Church, Ruskington, and they had four children.

Esme (right) was born on 31 October 1909 at Regent House, 100 High Street,  Tunstall,  Staffs. She was the only daughter of George William (Draper) and Alice Maud (née Cocker).

After the War John became “Company Director” and moved to Brook House, Manor Street, Ruskington (left), a prestigious residence, formerly owned by the Pattinson family. In 1954 he was in the telephone book as living at 37 Beverley Gardens, Stanmore, Harrow, Middlesex.

Both John and Esme died in May 1996, in the Crawley District, John, aged 88, on the 1st and Esme on the 26th, aged 89.


CHRISTIAN, Sydney Cyril: was born on 4 November 1897 and in 1939 was living on Fen Road, Hillside Estate, Ruskington (right), with his wife, Louisa. and three children. At the same address were five more boarders – i.e. 10 persons in all.

As well as volunteering as an A.R.P. Warden, Sidney was employed as a “Supply Stores Labourer – R.A.F.“.

Sydney was born as Parker’s Farm, Horsington, Lincolnshire, the 6th of 8 surviving  children of John Thomas (Farm Foreman) and Betsy Ann (née Dowse) Christian (4 other children died in infancy). By 1911 the family had moved to Byards Leap Sleaford. 

Records show that Sydney married Florence Annie Favell in the March quarter 1919. The 1939 Register has Louisa as his “Inferred Spouse“. This was Louisa (née Kirk) who he married in the September quarter 1933.

Louisa died in July 1982 and was buried in Grave E.211, Ruskington Cemetery. Sydney was died in February 1985 and was buried with her on 2 March.


CLARKE, Gladys C. was born on 28 December 1897 and in 1939 was living with the family of William and Annie Baldock at Station Road, Ruskington. As well as volunteering for A.R.P. duties Gladys was employed as a “Corsetiere”. Also living with them was 78 year old Jane Clarke. Gladys’ status is shown as “M” (i.e. Married).

Lodging next door with the Frisby family, was Flight Lieutenant Sidney Charles Black, (R.A.F.). Gladys and Sidney were married in Paddington, London, on 4 May 1945. The 1947 phone book shows “Clarke-Black, Mrs. Gladys, Station Rd. Ruskington 280“.

Sidney was born on 4 October 1892 at King William’s Town, Amatole, Eastern Cape, South Africa. He died, aged 84, in Brighton, Sussex, in the September quarter 1977. It is likely that Gladys died in the Exeter area in the September quarter 1961, aged 63. 


CORBY, Joseph Henry: was born on 8 June 1896 and in 1939 he was employed as a “Butcher” and living at ‘Tremaine’, Westcliffe, Ruskington, with his wife, Priscilla, and their two daughters, Dorothy (born 20 June 1921) and Joan Mary (b. 30 June 1925).

Joseph served with distinction in the Army Service Corps during World War 1 (Private S4/090754 Joseph Henry CORBY) and joined the A.R.P. as a Stretcher Bearer.

[C L I C K on his name for more details of his life and service.]


CROWTHER, George A.: was 15 in 1939 (born 26 June 1924) when he volunteered as a ‘Messenger’ in the A.R.P. He was living with his parents, George Sidney (Civilian Electrician) and Louisa Edith (née Webb) at ‘The Laurels’, Station Road, Ruskington, and working as a ‘Pork Pie Maker’.

George’s parents came from Hartlepool, Durham, and his father served for a short time in the RAF at the end of the Great War. [See: Private 304776 George Sidney CROWTHER for more details of their earlier life before moving to Ruskington.]

Nothing further has yet been found about George after 1939.


ESPIN, John William:  was born on 7 April 1908 and when he volunteered as an A.R.P. Warden, attached to the London, North-Eastern Railway (L.N.E.R.) he was living on Pinfold Lane, Ruskington, the house of William and Emma Chester. John’s full-time employment was a “Railway Signalman”. At the time his status was “W” (widower). Edith Espin, was living at the same address.

John was born in Kirton Holme, Lincolnshire, eldest of the three children of John Thomas and Emma (née Burnett). His younger siblings were Frank Edward (born 1909) and Edith Alice (b. 1910). The 1911 Census (RG 14/19560) shows them living at Hubberts Bridge, nr. Boston, and John’s father was also employed as a “Railway Signalman”.

On 21 May 1923 15 year old John began working for the L.N.E.R. at Sleaford South signal-box on a wage of £2 15s [£2.75] per week. (This is equivalent to about £210 p.w. today – 2024.) In the June quarter 1933 he married Elsie Maud Clark in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. The 1939 Register shows Elsie living at 9 Foundry Street, Horncastle, with their son, Harold James. (So clearly John was NOT a widower as he stated!)

In 1946 John was living at 8 Hope Street, Lincoln. He died on 22 June 1974, aged 66, at 57 East Street, Horncastle. His son, Harold, died on 3 November 1990 also at 57 East Street, Horncastle, and Elsie died the following day at the same address.


FRANKLIN, James:  was living on Lincoln Road, Ruskington, with his wife, Muriel, and working as a ‘Haulage Contractor’ when he volunteered as an A.R.P. Warden in 1940.

James was born in Potter Hanworth, Lincolnshire, on 26 March 1908, and three years later (1911 Census RG 14/19608) was living with his parents, James (Farmer) and Harriett (née Fox) and younger sister, Clare Ann (b. 22 May 1910), in Walcot, Lincolnshire.

In the June quarter 1935 James married Muriel Spencer, probably in Ruskington, and they had a daughter, Avril, born June quarter 1937. James died on 26 November 1978, aged 68, at 3 Fiskerton Road, Cherry Willingham, Lincolnshire. Muriel died at 3 Buckingham House, Lincoln, on 20 October 1981.