Amongst Eric's 1940 papers is the following observation, which he recorded in May 1940 on the extent to which people were carrying their gas masks:
On May 15th there was a meeting of an archaeological society in this town, attended by about 30 ladies. The majority of these were between 50 and 60 years old, and wore hats of what might be called the “bird-cage” type. Three or four in their early 40’s sported those curious little bandeaux which are now so popular, and these were the only ones to carry gas-masks, thus making it quite clear the “bird-cages” are not going to be hastily removed in the public streets under any circumstances whatever.
I should think about 50% of the public carry their gas-masks during the past month. I have never yet seen a farmer bring his mask in to market with him, nor do you ever see them carried at farm sales, or anywhere in the country except by children.