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AFS/NFS Badges


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Here's photo's of the AFS and NFS cap badges and helmets used by both services.


The Auxiliary Fire Service was formed in 1938 and was organised by town or city they wore a cloth badge on their breast pocket

which also had the name of the town or city under the letters AFS, the metal cap badge had no ( Kings Crown ).

In August 1941 the AFS amalgamated with regional forces to form the National Fire Service.

The new NFS was organised by numbered Fire Forces within the Civil Defence Regions, a circular cloth badge with number was

worn on the breast pocket. The metal cap badge worn did have a Kings Crown and was in use from 1941 to 1948.

Here is a photo taken in 1939 of Granny Chilvers on her bike wearing her AFS cap and coat she died in 1942 but it shows her cap

badge had no Kings Crown.


The only AFS badges with the Kings Crown on are button hole versions worn on the lapel.










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Here's a list of NFS, Fire Force Regional Numbers of WW2..


England and Wales.


1. Gosforth.

2. Middlesborough.

3. Rotherham.

4. Leeds.

5. Bradford.

6. Hessle.

7. Derby.

8. Nottingham.

9. Leicester.

10. Louth.

11. Southend.

12. Stevenage.

13. Hethersett.

14. Durley.

15. Taplow.

16. Lyndhurst.

17. Bristol.

18. Exeter.

19. Yelverton.

20. LLanishen.

21. Sketty.

22. Colwyn Bay.

23. Worcester.

24. Birmingham.

25. Stone.

26. Liverpool.

27. Cheadle.

28. Bolton.

29. Preston.

30. Maidstone.

31. Brighton.

32. Woking.

33. London ( Administrative ).

34 London ( Ealing ).

35. London ( Highgate ).

36. London ( Ilford ).

37. London ( Eltham ).

38. London ( Wimbledon ).

39. Swindon.

40. Wolverhampton.

41. Warrington.

42. Stalybridge.

43. Kendal.



1. Glasgow ( Western No1 ).

2. Paisley. ( Western No2 ).

3. Edinburgh ( South Eastern )

4. Dundee. ( Eastern ).

5. Aberdeen. ( North Eastern ).

6. Inverness. ( Northern ).


Hope this list is of some use.

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Excellent Colin , I've had a few Western No1 helmets over the years ,they are actually very nice , might keep the next one that comes in :)

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  • 11 months later...

Here's two interesting helmets.


1st is a NFS helmet marked district No 38 ( Wimbledon/London ) looks like this member was attached to the "Lines Bros Ltd"

factory ( Fire Brigade ). Lines Bros Ltd were a Pre War Toy Company ( Who Operated under the Tri-ang brand name ).

During WW2 the factory was converted to weapons manufacture producing the ( Sten MKIII submachine gun), the helmet is

maker marked ( F&L and dated 1/1939 ) with a MKI liner marked JCS&W Ltd size 7 and dated 1/1939.


2nd is a Red G.E.C Works Fire Brigade helmet ( General Electric Company ) with no visible maker marks, with a MKI liner

marked Vero size 7 and dated 1/1939. G.E.C made bakolite radio's.post-3823-0-39618600-1420370451_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-71078700-1420370469_thumb.jpg

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  • 3 years later...

Here's a MKII-2c=3 holes helmet made from milder steel, which was used first by the AFS volunteer service stills shows the two white

rank stripes of  a Section Officer. A Section comprised of 5 fire pumps and crew, it was then used by the NFS fire service who added the

NFS transfer badge on top of the stripes and the area number to the rim. Looks like they did not bother to change the colour of the stripes

from white to the NFS colour of red stripes. It has no maker marks but liner is dated 1939, the number 29 is the Preston area.



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Here's an early AFS buttonhole badge made of sterling silver and numbered.

AFS Buttonhole Badge.jpg

AFS Buttonhole reverse.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for sharing this Leon it’s very informative. I wish to add a photo of my grand aunt who I believe from this photo was in the NFS as a driver but that’s only an inference and will have to do some more digging to prove her role. I don’t have a date for this picture but believe it’s from the Second World War or just after as that’s what the pictures around it were dated.

Thanks again for the information above.




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I believe she lived in Cricklewood, north west London, on the side of the truck in the photo there is NFS badge and below it two lines of writing, I think the number 34 is the start of the uppermost line. So from the chart you posted above could be for Ealing. Although it could just be part of a larger number and not related to the area code, so I'm just about to look and see if i can find any pictures of NFS trucks to see what is written on the sides.



I have found a film on the NFS but cannot view it as I don't have the right player but hopefully the link will copy okay below


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The vehicle in the picture is a Austin K2 Auxiliary Towing Vehicle (ATV) the suffix ATV was likely added after the war as there is no period evidence of it, 20,000 were ordered by the government in 1941  however few arrived in time for the height of the Blitz, They remained in service till 1970 with some regional fire services. I've attached a link to the page where I read all that it goes into good detail for anyone interested.





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I fixed the link on your film Jack, here's another interesting film and although not NFS it is related being Civil Defense it's the first time I've seen the Civil Defense helmets being worn in a film.


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Here's an interesting film Britain's Fire Service at War 1939-1945.

Including 400 Canadian Voluntary Fireman who served in Britain from 1942-1945.

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Here we have two examples from the Scottish regions of the NFS.

Western No 1 -HQ in Glasgow = No 1 Fire Force.

Western No 2 -HQ in Paisley = No 2 Fire Force.


Western No 2.jpg

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  • 1 month later...


South Eastern - HQ in Edinburgh = No 3 Fire Force.

Eastern -              HQ in Dundee = No 4 Fire Force.

North Eastern - HQ in Aberdeen = No 5 Fire Force.

Northern -           HQ in Inverness = No 6 Fire Force.


Khaki/Green Helmet Rank Markings.

Senior Company Officer- 1 Narrow Red Band over 1 Broad Red Band.

Company Officer - 1 Broad Red Band.

Section Officer  -  2 Narrow Red Bands.

Leading Fireman - 1 Narrow Red Band.


White Helmet Rank Marking.

Chief Regional Fire Officer - 1 Broad Red Round Band and Broad Red Bar inscribed Chief Regional Fire Officer.

Fire Force Commander  - 1 Broad Red Circular Band and Broad Red Bar inscribed Fire Force Commander.

Assistant Fire Force Officer - 1 Broad Red Band.

Divisional Officer - 2 Narrow Red Bands.

Column Officer  -  1 Narrow Red Band.


Each Fire Area had a Fire Force with a Fire Force Commander and an Assistant Fire Force Commander.

A Division comprised of 100 pumps with a Divisional Officer ( 1 per Division ).

A Column comprised of 50 pumps with a Column Officer ( 2 per Division ) and a Senior Company Officer ( were necessary ).

A Company comprised of 10 pumps with a Company Officer ( 10 per Division ).

A Section comprised of 5 pumps with a Section Leader ( 20 per Division ).

And a Leading Fireman ( 1 per pump ).

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  • 4 months later...

Here's another helmet I spotted used by a Company Officer of fire force 10 most likely  Louth in Lincolnshire, looks like they never bothered

to put a NFS sticker on the front but just put the rank band over the top of the  f10 instead.


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  • 5 months later...

Here's another helmet I spotted, a mix of ATS and NFS markings has the Red Band for a NFS Leading Fireman and No 2 sticker for Middlesborough

Region. also has owners name and id number on inside of helmet, no other stamp marks that I can see.

Photo's from other sources.




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  • 9 months later...

Here we have a helmet for the North Eastern Region No 5 Fire Force HQ Aberdeen, no makers mark but has a liner by BMB dated 1940.

These type of helmets are getting harder to find these days. Note the NFS logo has been removed at some stage.

Photo's from other sources.




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  • 6 months later...

Here we have a NFS helmet for No3 = Rotherham this belonged to a Section Leader hence the two red stripes helmet is stamped

HBH =Harrison Bros & Howson and dated 1939.

Photo's from other sources.

HBH 1939 (2).jpg

HBH 1939 (1).jpg

HBH 1939 (3).jpg

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And here we have a NFS helmet for No 28 area = Bolton has no makers mark but liner by TTC = Teddy Toy Co Ltd and dated 1939

Photo's from other sources.

NFS 28 (1).jpg

NFS 28 (2).jpg

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  • 8 months later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Here's a nice NFS Ladies Cap dated 1943 made by J. Collett Ltd size 6-3/4 with broad arrow mark.

photo's from other sources.



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Is this yours?

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  • 1 year later...

Here we have a NFS Helmet No 23 = Worcester stamped RO.Co for Rubery Owen & Co Ltd of leeds and dated 1939.

Photo's from other sources.

RO.CO 1939 (1).png

RO.CO 1939 (2).jpg

RO.CO 1939 (3).jpg

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