Absent Voters' List
| The Representation of the People Act 1918
allowed 'absent voters', that is those away from their home
constituency, the opportunity for the first time to vote,
generally postally or by proxy,
provided their details had been given to the civil
registration officers. The "Absent Voters' Lists" (AVLs)
compiled from this information are therefore and extension
of the local electoral
rolls. The first AVLs were published in the Autumn of
1918, the election itself was held on the 14th December
1918, and an updated series of AVLs were published in the
spring of 1919.
1918 was the last year of the Great War, and the AVLs
provide a most useful identification reference for local men
aged 19 or over serving in the armed forces away from home.
(Note: the normal voting age was 21 for civilian men)
| The sections we have reproduced here
are extracted from the Wansbeck and the Berwick-upon-Tweed
Constituency AVLs. The original bound volumes
are stored at the Woodhorn Archives in Northumberland. There
is much contemporary handwritten annotation to the original
printed lists which we have also reproduced here, and the lists
do contain a number of errors of which we have made no
attempt to correct. Atypical abbreviations also demonstrate
the lists were compiled by civil servants rather than the
|Roman text (upright) is the original printed
|Italics represent the handwritten
notes, probably added in late 1918/early 1919,
and we also noted that a number of handwriting
styles are evident, therefore a number of
individuals were adding notes and corrections.
Text struck through in ink is also shown as
struck through on our transcription.
|Blue text are
our notes and therefore do not appear on the
original list. We have kept these to a minimum.
|Abbreviations are explained on the forum