Russell Spencer

Photo:Photograph of Russell Spencer and his father taken in October 1939. In this photograph Russel is wearing his scout uniform. Russell's father worked at the British Museum and was drafted into their Fire Service at the outbreak of war and remained in that position until his death in January 1942.

Photograph of Russell Spencer and his father taken in October 1939. In this photograph Russel is wearing his scout uniform. Russell's father worked at the British Museum and was drafted into their Fire Service at the outbreak of war and remained in that position until his death in January 1942.

Russell Spencer

Photo:Russell Spencer in a more recent photograph.

Russell Spencer in a more recent photograph.

Russell Spencer

Recollections of assisting the war effort as a Scout.

Assisting the war effort

As a teenage boy at the outbreak of war, Russell Spencer was a member of the Scouts and a Patrol Leader for the Woodpigeon Patrol. On the morning of Sunday 3rd September 1939, Russell, along with the other Scout Patrol Leaders in the area, reported to the Council Officers:

‘The first job was putting together the components of the Service type respirators. This involved attaching the tube to the filter. This was then inspected by a more senior person who using pliers secured it with wire before they were placed in the canvas holder. Another job...was the filling of sandbags’.

Morrison shelters

As a Scout, Russell performed a variety of duties in support of the war effort. One task in which the scouts became involved was the erection of Morrison shelters, assistance provided mainly to homes where the male members of the family were away in the Forces. However, Russell recalls ‘some people thought ‘it was a job that the Council should do’ and we found a mature male to be present at the house who was considerably embarrassed when a group of 14 – 16 year old boys arrived on the doorstep’. The boys received training in how to erect a shelter ‘but as most of us had Meccano sets we found this a bit elementary’.

Russell was a messenger boy for the ARP and also undertook fire watching as part of his work in the City. Russell was employed in the City until September 1942 and then spent four years in the Royal Navy.

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Russell Spencer
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To read more about Russell's wartime experiences in his own words please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 07/06/2012.

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