Wolverhampton museum’s tribute to war warden

A mannequin has been dressed up as a Second World War air raid precaution (ARP) warden in memory of a museum curator's grandfather.

The ARP warden has been nicknamed Walter after Alec Brew's (left) grandfather who was a ARP warden during the Second World War.
The ARP warden has been nicknamed Walter after Alec Brew's (left) grandfather who was a ARP warden during the Second World War.

Alec Brew, curator of the Tettenhall Transport Heritage Museum, named the figure Walter in memory of family member Walter James Pritchard.

Walter James Pritchard, who died in 1942, was a warden in the city and patrolled the streets during blackout to ensure no light was visible.

He was later transferred to Coventry after the blitz – a series of bombing raids on the city – on the night of November 14, 1940, and the morning of the next day.

Mr Brew, who never met his grandfather due to being born after his death, said: "When we dressed up the mannequin we christened him 'Walter'.

"We've got the APR overalls – genuine Wolverhampton ones, and his fire axe, his gas mask, whistle and everything else that an APR warden would carry.

"We have a war time display with things like that – gas masks for children and he's a central part of that display.

"Walter died in 1942 from stress – he was one of them sent to Coventry after the blitz and he was sick by what he saw.

"He came back and luckily the blitz in Wolverhampton wasn't nearly as bad – a few bombs dropped.

The 72-year-old said the museum would be open every Saturday and Sunday, between 10am and 4pm, for visitors to meet Walter.

But he said the museum was having it's windows replaced – and would reopen after it has all been fixed.

People should visit the museum's Facebook page to see the latest opening information.

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