ID number REL/20179
Title Air raid siren : Ainslie Bus Depot, Canberra
Collection Technology
Object type Communications equipment
Maker Unknown (Maker)
Place made Australia
Date made c 1941
Physical description Metal


Cylindrical air raid siren made of tin-plated sheet steel that has been riveted together. Painted light grey, the siren has three groups of flutes for sound direction and a pointed canopy, which has been soldered together.
Standing on three individual metal legs the siren is operated via an internal electrical rotor.


This is one of a number of air raid sirens installed around Canberra during the Second World War as part of the Canberra Air Raid Precautions (ARP) program. It was believed to have been installed at the Ainslie Bus Depot.

Canberra's ARP program was established in 1941 and a decision was made that year to erect air raid sirens throughout Canberra. Temporary sirens were acquired to carry out preliminary tests with permanent sirens being installed by the middle of 1942.

Although Canberra never came under an air raid attack, regular air raid tests and drills were carried out throughout the city during the Second World War. The siren had an average sound range of 8 kilometres and could make two distinct signals: the Raid Imminent Signal and the All Clear Signal. Testing of air raid sirens was carried out twice weekly until August 1943 and once a week after that until 1945. The last time the sirens sounded was on 15 August 1945, to celebrate the end of the war against Japan.

The Ainslie Bus Depot was established in December 1941 at the intersection of Stephen and Tyson Streets where thought that the siren was removed at the time the bus depot was demolished and presented to the Memorial soon after.