Chester during the 1940s

This post is focused on the 1940’s and some of the major events that happened in this decade in Chester, Britain and worldwide.

The 1940’s was a troublesome decade for Britain, due to the outbreak of World War 2. Britain was in crisis for the second time; this image shows soldiers from the Home Guard and was taken between 1940-1949. 

So there is a very high possibility that most, if not all of these men pictured where involved in action. From our research we have found that this picture was probably taken in Sandbach.

It was in 1940 that the Chief of Chester City Police arranged for cinema slides to be shown throughout the county in an effort to reduce accidents during the black-out. It was also in this year that the first air raid in Cheshire took place on the evening of July 29th in Crewe.

It was in 1944 when Cheshire appointed its first police women; 26 years after recruitment began nationally.

In 1947 a SSAFA branch was opened in Chester, the first of its kind in this city. In 1949 the establishment of the Old People’s Welfare Advisory Committee following a public meeting was decided.

In 1949 Chester City Police were forced to amalgamate into Cheshire Constabulary, they did not amalgamate voluntarily, the Secretary of State held a public enquiry. By this point in time Cheshire police had 1,016 policemen and 34 police women.
The photograph below shows members of Chester city Police Force, it is believed to have been taken on 11 July 1945.

The 1940’s were a troubled time for the world with the Second World War raging on and affecting nearly every country. The UK itself including her empire would lose around 450,000 military and civilians due to the war.

The post-war world would be marked with the rebuilding of the country and the rise of the welfare state and institutions such as the NHS.