Tharston sign

Information # 3

Title:Absent Voters' Lists
Description:Absent Voters' Lists
Detail:The absent voters' lists are registers of people eligible to vote who were absent from their homes. The lists are of particular importance to identify those who fought during the First World War. After Parliament passed the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which 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 for the first time as absent voters. The lists also contain the names of anyone whose work was recognised by the Admiralty, Army Council or Air Council, such as merchant seamen and those working for the Red Cross. The registers also include the names of women over the age of 30 who were serving overseas with the Women's Auxiliary Army and other services that were part of the war effort. Applications for an absent vote had 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 arranged to send voting cards to men in the UK and ballot papers to those in France. Lists were completed by August 1918 and then published that October. Subsequent lists include names of some men who were killed, missing or taken prisoner 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.
Other linksNI Direct Government Services
The Long, Long Trail
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
British Genealogy
Great War Forum


© Nigel Peacock 2020
Tharston Past Data Project