During the Second World War Eric helped to form the Civic Guard for the Northern Suburbs area, providing a room (with telephone) at the back of the house, upstairs near the large recreation room built over the double garage, to be used as an office for the group of men, including himself, who volunteered to join the guard and undertake, for instance, the nightly task of checking up on the homes of those neighbours who were away on active service. Phyllis joined the Victoria League, attended First Aid classes and organised a women's sewing group. The latter would meet weekly at 'Graystones' stitching pyjamas for the wounded, rolling bandages and making little 'hold-alls' for the soldiers, containing needles, thread, buttons and such like. They also opened their home, offering hospitality to service men, particularly, as it turned out, to Royal Air Force pilots and, later, to pupil pilots stationed in the Transvaal.
Eric organised that a minimum of thirty food parcels were packed each month, wrapped in brown paper and then stitched into unbleached calico, to send to the severely rationed people they knew in Britain. Quite a number of dances, fetes and other entertainments were organised to raise funds for war charities.
After the end of the war when the Civic Guard was no longer needed my father decided to keep on one of the African 'constables' as a night watch man and he was meant to ensure that the property was safe and that no unknown people came within the bounds. One of John's memories, as he wrote to me, was: "One morning in 1960, I picked up Dad to go to work. As we were driving off, the night watchman ran up to the car and said, "It's alright, he's dead!" Dad asked what he was talking about, so was taken round the house and shown the corpse! The watchman explained he had challenged the trespasser, who started to run, so he got stabbed."