A Police Notice appears on EJR's journal page for 31st March 1941. The notice contains printed numbers on one side and instructions on the back for the evacuation of Colchester in the event of invasion. The issuing of this notice at this time makes it apparent that the authorities considered invasion to be a real threat in the Spring of 1941. CP
The Police Notice reads as follows:
The Regional Commissioner has decided that it is necessary to make plans in advance for the removal of the population by train, in case he or the Military Authorities, should have to decide that the town must be evacuated at very short notice.
Your Warden is calling upon you personally with this leaflet to explain what is required of you.
All you are asked to do at the moment is to display at once in a prominent position at the TOP of a window, facing the road, a figure (cut from this leaflet) indicating the number of people living in your house.
This is for the information of your Warden and THE FIGURE SHOULD BE ALTERED FROM TIME TO TIME if the number of people living in your house changes for any reason.
It is essential for the Warden to have this information up-to-date so that train services may be properly organised.
If and when the order comes it is proposed to notify you by Police and Wardens:-
(1) Where and when transport will be waiting to take you to the station
(2) The number of the train upon which you will travel
(3) The time of departure of the train
Please bear in mind that your Warden is doing this work voluntarily under government instructions for your benefit. Please give him every assistance and avoid keeping him waiting.
H.C. Stockwell, Lt.-Col.
March 31st 1941
CARRY YOUR GAS MASK ALWAYS
The printed numbers used to show how many people were living in a house, with a discoloured number 3 for the Rudsdales' home to indicate EJR and his parents lived there. (Courtesy of Essex Record Office)