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Thread: 1918 Absent Voters List

  1. #1
    Member ozgirl's Avatar
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    1918 Absent Voters List

    I am still trying to track down my Grandfather's military information, and believe that these lists can sometimes help. Unfortunately I only have a rough idea of where he would have lived which is in Nottingham. FMP have the lists for Nottingham, but it seems you cannot search by name. I do not have a sub for FMP, and am not asking anyone to look in detail, but wondered if someone could just have a quick look and let me know what is actually on these records. I'm hoping that sometime soon FMP will have one of their month for a pound offers, so I will be able to trawl through them in the hope of finding him.

    Many thanks
    Linda

    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

  2. #2
    The absent voters’ lists are registers of eligible voters who were absent from their homes. The lists are of particular importance for those whose ancestors fought during the First World War. After Parliament passed the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which radically reformed the electorate in Great Britain and Ireland, men between the ages of 19 and 20 who were serving in the armed forces were given the right to vote and could register as absent voters for the first time. Absent voters lists also contain the names of anyone whose work was recognised by the Admiralty, Army Council or Air Council, such as merchant seamen, fisherman and those working for the Red Cross. The registers also include the names of many women over the age of 30 who were serving overseas with the Women’s Auxiliary Army and other women’s services that were supporting the war effort.

    Applications for an absent vote were to be submitted by August 1918 for the autumn and by February 1919 for the spring. The registers were printed twice a year. The names of absent voters were sent to the Adjutant General’s Department of the War Office. The War Office then arranged to send voting cards to men in the UK and ballot papers to those in France. Some were left out because of the hurried process and some details given may be inaccurate.

    Lists were completed by August 1918 and then published that October. Subsequently, the lists may include names of men who were killed, missing or taken prisoner in the period of time between the compiling of lists and the publication of the register. After an election, the counting of votes was delayed by up to eight days to ensure the receipt of the absent votes. This practice occurred during the First World War and for twelve months after.

    Between 1918 and 1939, absent voters were listed separately, often in foolscap typescript lists rather than printed registers. For a few years these contained additional information, such as a serviceman’s rank, unit and number. While today this is a boon to researchers, it was irrelevant for electoral purposes and the practice was soon dropped


    ?What can these records tell me?

    Each record includes an image of the original record and a short transcription describing the document. The amount of information found in each entry can vary, but most will include the following:

    •Name


    •Qualifying premises – the column will only list a house number when the register is segregated into streets by street or full address when listed by parish


    •Description of service


    •Ship, regiment, number, rank, rating, or recorded address


    Transcription Box

    This is the small text box on the left-hand side of the screen. It will provide you with the following information:

    •Constituency


    •Year


    •Season – after 1919, registers were printed twice a year, either spring or autumn


    •Register type – explains whether the document is a parliamentary borough or county register


    •Polling district or place – This will include polling districts or wards. Civil parishes are not indexed and will need to be searched by keyword.


    •County


    •Country


    •Archive and British Library shelfmark


    •Image number


    Searching PDFs is a different experience to searching other indexed records. Use our Search Tips provided below as a guide.


    ?Discover more about these records


    The absent voters’ lists are registers of eligible voters who were absent from their homes. The lists are of particular importance for those whose ancestors fought during the First World War. After Parliament passed the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which radically reformed the electorate in Great Britain and Ireland, men between the ages of 19 and 20 who were serving in the armed forces were given the right to vote and could register as absent voters for the first time. Absent voters lists also contain the names of anyone whose work was recognised by the Admiralty, Army Council or Air Council, such as merchant seamen, fisherman and those working for the Red Cross. The registers also include the names of many women over the age of 30 who were serving overseas with the Women’s Auxiliary Army and other women’s services that were supporting the war effort.

    Applications for an absent vote were to be submitted by August 1918 for the autumn and by February 1919 for the spring. The registers were printed twice a year. The names of absent voters were sent to the Adjutant General’s Department of the War Office. The War Office then arranged to send voting cards to men in the UK and ballot papers to those in France. Some were left out because of the hurried process and some details given may be inaccurate.

    Lists were completed by August 1918 and then published that October. Subsequently, the lists may include names of men who were killed, missing or taken prisoner in the period of time between the compiling of lists and the publication of the register. After an election, the counting of votes was delayed by up to eight days to ensure the receipt of the absent votes. This practice occurred during the First World War and for twelve months after.

    Between 1918 and 1939, absent voters were listed separately, often in foolscap typescript lists rather than printed registers. For a few years these contained additional information, such as a serviceman’s rank, unit and number. While today this is a boon to researchers, it was irrelevant for electoral purposes and the practice was soon dropped.

    Vera
    Last edited by vera2013; 05-01-19 at 13:50.

  3. #3
    It looks to be searchable by name. I will take a look if you wish

    Vera

  4. #4
    Member ozgirl's Avatar
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    Hi Vera, thanks for that offer, I really appreciate it - however you might not wish to do so when you find out that his name was Harry Brown (or he might have used Henry!) I'm sure there will be quite a number of them. He had no middle name. I think he was back home by June 1919 at the latest as his son was born in March 1920. Let me know if you need any more info.

    Thanks Linda
    Linda

    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

  5. #5
    Looking at 1918 Nottinghamshire Harry Brown

    6 Storer Street
    268693
    2nd Pl Res Depot
    RAF

    Manvers Ward, Polling Dis C, Division II, East Division

    83 Park Street
    265270 Pte 7th Sherwood

    Castle Ward, Polling Dis F, Division II, South Division

    34 Briar Street
    24179 Sgt RGA

    Meadows Ward, Polling Dis C, Division II, South Division

    20 St Stephens Road
    3931 Pte 23rd RFA

    Trent Ward, Polling Dis B, Polling division 1, South Division

    41 Northumberland Street
    543356 Pte 484 Agric. Coy. Labour Corps

    St Anns Ward, Polling District A, Polling Division 2, Central Division

    Vera

  6. #6
    Member ozgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Vera - I know he wasn't RAF, and don't think he was RGA or RFA, and definitely wasn't Sergeant, which means only 2 for research.. Fingers crossed I can track him down.
    Linda

    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

  7. #7
    Member ozgirl's Avatar
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    Well it's definitely not the one who was in the Labour Corps which just leaves Pvt Brown of the 7th Sherwood Foresters, 265270. However I cannot find anything for that number. Rats.
    Linda

    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

  8. #8
    Have some more to post ie Henry 1918. Will then look at 1919

    Vera
    Last edited by vera2013; 05-01-19 at 19:14.

  9. #9
    Henry Brown 1918

    Notts Central Division

    128 Ewart Road
    24651 Pte Lab Co MT ASC

    Forest Ward, Poll Dis F, Division 2

    28 Caroline Street
    24179 Sgt H Batt RGA

    Robin Hood Ward, Poll Dis D, Division 2

    East Division

    110 Blue Bell Hill Road
    263652 Gnr RFA

    Manvers Ward, Poll Dis B, Division 1

    18 Crown Street
    96111 Gnr RFA

    Manvers Ward, Poll Dis D, Division 1

    South Division

    42 Kingston Street
    213950 Pte 731 Lab Coy.

    Trent Ward Poll Dis C, Division 1

    Vera

  10. #10
    Member ozgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks again Vera, have checked all the numbers and the ones that have records are not mine, sadly. Still you never know, he may turn up one day.

    Linda
    Linda

    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

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