Journal Volume 3 2000
They Answered the Call (continued/6)
The Hon Treasurer, Mr. R. G. C. Oulton, was able to inform the meeting that financially the branch was in a sound position, while the Hon Secretary, Mr. A. L. Agnew, gave a review of the branch's first year. In 7 months those who had attended classes run by the branch had managed to obtain -
101 First Aid Certificates
063 Air Raid Precautions Certificates
056 Home Nursing Certificates
The meeting ended with a discussion on the suggestion to form a Division of the Society. Miss Povis pointed out that a Division required 12 women and 1 Lady Superintendent in order to form it, and that all the women needed to have first aid and home nursing certificates. She pointed out that there were certain obligations that members had to meet - Members had to attend parades during the year; be inspected annually; to turn out when called for public duty, and when volunteered for duty, must undertake it. Miss Povis also spoke of how busy members were at the beach huts at Merrion, Killiney and Bray, and of the vast array of injuries they had to treat on the spot. The meeting decided to hold over a decision on the matter and to discuss it again at a future meeting of the branch.
In May 1941, when the Co. Wicklow Board of Health adopted an emergency hospital scheme for the county, it was decided to establish first aid stations in Bray, Enniskerry and Greystones, under the control of the Irish Red Cross Society, with a request that the Greystones branch of the St. John Ambulance Brigade work with the Society to this end.
So the A.R.P. classes conducted by the Greystones branch of the St. John Ambulance Brigade was the unofficial A.R.P. scheme adopted in Greystones, which as a result of this course, had large numbers of people trained in this vital area of civil defence should the need have arisen, which thankfully it did not.
Others in Greystones who 'Answered the Call' were those who enlisted in the Irish Defence Forces for the duration of the Emergency following the Government's national appeal for volunteers launched in June 1940. Nor should one forget those who served in the 'A' and 'B' Groups of the Local Security Force, raised in June 1940, which became the Local Defence Force and Local Security Force respectively in January 1941. Greystones people were also to be found serving in the Coastwatch Service and Maritime Inscription Corps. Nor should we overlook those who served on Irish ships during the Emergency or on ships of other nations; and those who fought for the Allies - Richard Doherty's Irish Men and Women in the Second World War, published by the Four Courts Press, is well worth reading as there are at least 2 specific references to Delgany people in it.
Greystones can be proud of the great community spirit that existed in the town during the Emergency and the many organisations that flourished and operated, which in the main were disbanded or allowed to lapse at the end of the Emergency. The activities of some of these organisations will be the basis for a further article on this subject.