SMHS Meeting: Operation Colour Scheme

15 Apr 2015

The National Fire Service (NFS) was formed in August 1941 uniting over 1600 local authority forces; these included the Auxiliary Fire Service, private services from factories and estates, and aimed to standardise equipment and training.

The Blitz had highlighted how disparate the fire forces were and the challenges of working together in emergency conditions.

The county of Sussex fell into Region 12, Area 31 and was reinforced by Reserves from other areas for 'Operation Colour Scheme', the NFS's plan devised to provide fire cover for the D-Day ports and the build-up of troops preparing for the Allied invasion of occupied Europe.

SMHS member Rob Martin, who serves in the Fire Service today, had discovered an album of photographs compiled by Chief Fire Officer, Mr Charles Birch OBE along with his Staff Officer illustrating the work of the NFS in Area 31 which Rob presented a selection of at our April meeting. This is a unique collection - very few members had even heard of Operation Colour Scheme, as the work of the civilian services in a period of such secrecy is not well-documented.

On the same evening we held our AGM. The Society re-elected the existing Committee, who members were keen to thank for their hard work over the previous year. It was great to hear that membership has again continued to grow steadily, currently being at an all-time high. We look forward to the coming year and all it brings.

Follow us!

Social Media Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook!

Contact us


For just £10 per year, you can join SMHS and be involved in our projects!

Membership details

Next meeting     [More]

7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex.

Latest SMHS News

SMHS meeting: Show and Tell
21 Dec 2016

Mid Sussex RED launch event
11 Nov 2016

SMHS meeting: Hellfire Corner
19 Oct 2016

SMHS meeting: "1066 and all that"
21 Sep 2016

SMHS meeting: Operation Pedestal
17 Aug 2016

Return to top

This website is Copyright © 2017 Sussex Military History Society