Campaigners are pushing to protect mental fences in Deptford that were once used to carry wounded civilians during the London Blitz.

The “stretcher railings”, found on Mereton Mansions in Brookmill Road and Rowley Estate in Watergate Street, have become “fragile” after having been around since the Second World War.

There are many of them spread across south London, including areas such as Peckham, Brixton and Oval.

But a campaign started by The Stretcher Railing Society to protect and maintain them as some are “in desperate need of conservation” according to its website.

Rosie Shaw, the campaign’s founder, said: “It’s very easy for planning to go ahead for them [the stretcher railings] to be removed if we weren’t really looking at it very closely.

“We really need to do something now so they don’t slip under the radar and just disappear one day.

“I think there is a lot of value in making sure these aspects of history are known about and are saved.

“These small parts of our history have as much value in a different way, and I think recognising and trying to protect that is very important.”

It is not understood whether the metal fences in Deptford will be removed by the council.

The society is seeking to work with Lewisham Council prevent them from being removed through local listings, but also in gaining national listing through Historic England while developing a more detailed list of where others could be around south London.

Rosie said the society is working on producing information plaques for passers-by to raise awareness of their history.

Residents of these areas are encouraged to contact The Stretcher Railings Society if they have any memories or information about them over the last few decades.

A spokesperson for the Museum of the Order of St John said: “Throughout the Second World War, thousands of people volunteered for the Civil Service Defence, including St John Ambulance members.

“Members took on a range of roles and responsibilities on the home front, including joining the Air Raid Precautions Service, being stretcher bearers and ambulance members, and manning first aid posts, among many other vital tasks.

“The stretchers, now most frequently recognised as railings, were an important piece of equipment for those carrying out these roles.

“Made entirely of metal, with just a few manufacturing processes, these stretchers were far easier to make quickly and in great numbers than the wood and canvas type which were commonly used at this time.

A spokesperson for Lewisham Council said: "Deptford’s ‘stretcher fences’ remind us of the courage and compassion shown by Londoners to one another during the blitz.

"Stretcher fences saved thousands of lives during the Second World War, and we are incredibly proud of the living history they represent in Lewisham."