Medley was an ARP warden when he was invited by the War Office to take a three-month commission to go to France and record disembarkation activities. The fee was to be 50 guineas plus expenses, for 8 small pictures, with the Committee having first choice of any other work. However, MI5 would not allow him to travel to France, due to having been "closely associated with subversive Communist doctrine" for many years. It was not ultimately clear whether this verdict referred to Medley or to his brother, but MI5 would not change their mind. As Medley had already been commissioned, he was offered alternative work recording ARP work in the provinces, although he was disappointed as he had turned down a camouflage job at £400 a year. Following this problem, the MoI's policy was changed so that no artist was offered an appointment before being cleared by MI5.
For the new commission, Medley was to be paid 60 guineas. He arrived in his first location, Newcastle, on 1 Feb and spent the next two months working happily around the north-east and other ARP locations. In Newcastle, the local ARP found him a studio in one of their substations, a former school known as "Dracula Hall" because of its atmospheric architecture. His reports back to the Committee are enthusiastic - he describes this as "one of the most interesting experiences I have ever had" (47), although he was in danger of "mental indigestion" (49). He was recalled in late March to finish his work in London. Initially the WAAC selected 5 larger drawings instead of the 8 smaller ones originally commissioned, and subsequently purchased one more (LD 80-85).
Medley was granted further facilities to study, but not at Grimsby. The file includes mentions of possible further commissions - to record life in London during the air raids (68-70) and camouflage depots (71), but these did not come to fruition.