During World War II, everyone had to carry a gas mask with them at all times.The gas masks would be used if air attacks contained poisonous gases, when everyone would put them on. Everyone had been issued during the months before the start of the war with a gas mask - a total of 38 million, with Mickey Mouse-faced ones for young children and complete suits for babies. It was an offence not to carry your gas mask at all times but many were forgotten, ending up as lost property, as this photograph of Baker Street Lost Property Office bears witness. Adult gas masks were black and children's gas masks were red and blue. The masks did not smell nice and were awkward to put on and wear. The more colourful children's masks were known as Mickey Mouse masks, shown on the right. One of the jobs of the Air Raid Precaution (ARP) wardens was to check that people were carrying their gas masks. If someone lost their mask, the warden could make them pay for another one! The ARP warden was trained to detect gas and would sound a rattle to let people know when to put on their gas masks. There never was an enemy attack of poison gas and masks were gradually dispensed with despite campaigns to try to persuade the population to carry them at all times. Richmond Council had to give notice of this "surprise" practice attack. The People of Richmond during the Practice Gas Attack .. The People of Richmond one month after the Practice Gas Attack, you see no one with their gasmask!!