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Following the horrific effects of gas attacks carried out during World War I, chemical weapons were banned in 1925 by the Geneva Convention. However, it was believed that Hitler would still make use of them, and the police were given responsibility of distributing gas masks. They were also required to carry out spot checks to ensure that everyone was carrying their gas masks and that masks were in good working order.
Thankfully, Britain didn't suffer any gas attacks during World War II, but the duties of the police ensured that everyone would have been ready had the worst actually come about.
This recently donated photograph to the collection shows Glamorgan Constabulary Inspector David Mainwaring (left) and PC 204 David Davies at the beginning of WWII, delivering gas masks to elderly residents living in Porth, Rhondda Valley.

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