Today we start a month of blogs as part of the A to Z blogging challenge. We shall be working our way through the alphabet describing sources for the history of Buckland Brewer.
In preparation for the General Election in 1918, Absent Voters’ Lists were compiled for those serving in HM Forces. The information usually included name, home address, regiment or ship name, rank and number. Not all have survived but those that remain for Devon are held in Devon Heritage Centre (formerly known as the Record Office) in Exeter.
Local voter registration officers asked the next of kin for details of those serving. This enabled voting cards to be sent to those in the UK. Those serving on the Western front were sent ballot papers. Anyone serving further afield voted via a proxy voting form. There seems to have been a second request for information at a later date. The second list is shorter, as more men had been demobbed. Some individuals appear on both lists.
These lists are known to contain inaccuracies and omissions but are none the less a useful source of addresses. They can also help point researchers in the right direction if an individual’s service career is being traced.
We have copies of the Absent Voters for Buckland Brewer, Bulkworthy and East Putford and the details appeared in Newsletter 1.