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Absent Voters

The first so-called Absent Voters’ List was compiled in 1918 to enable servicemen and women to vote by proxy or by postal application when away on active service. It was published on 15th October 1918 and was compiled from details supplied by the men themselves, or their relatives, before the closing of 18th August 1918.  As a result of the Representation of the People Act passed on 6th February 1918, all men aged 21 (or 19 if serving in the armed forces) now had the right to vote and also, for the first time, women over the age of 30, thus tripling the size of the electorate.

The mammoth task of compiling the Absent Voters’ Lists fell to civilian registration officers.  Once these lists had been compiled, the names of those in the forces were sent to the relevant authorities.  The officer in charge of the respective offices took steps to revise the lists and to correct the numerous errors they contained. Amongst the problems were movement of units, casualties and transfer of men from one unit to another, which might include regimental number changes.

As soon as it could practically be arranged after the November Armistice, a General Election was called for Saturday 14th December 1918; it was the first to be held since December 1910.  Despite the war, many service personnel continued to serve overseas, especially in Germany, India or the Middle East; in addition many were engaged in war-related work and still living away from home.  Arrangements were made for voting cards to be sent to the men in question in the UK and ballot papers sent to men serving on the Western Front and in Italy. Men serving in "distant theatres" were allowed to vote by proxy.  Because of the large number and wide distribution of absent voters, the counting of votes was delayed until 28th December in order to allow time for them all to be returned.  The election resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George.

After the election, a second opportunity to register was offered and a deadline was set of 18th February 1919. The list which resulted from applications received during this second wave was published in April 1919.  The Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service in Worcester contains a 1919 index of names for the Evesham, Bewdley, Stourbridge and Kidderminster Parliamentary Divisions of Worcestershire.  Details have been extracted from the Evesham index of men in the armed forces with connections to Badsey, Aldington and Wickhamford and are listed below.  The index gives information on name, parish, service details, including service number.  It should be noted that the Absent Voter lists, owing to the method of their compilation, were less than perfect and many eligible voters are likely to have been omitted and many wrong transcriptions are likely to have occurred.  But they do give some indication of service details which is useful, as frequently other service records are unavailable.  In addition, the Worcestershire Regiment website provides a list of those men serving with the Worcestershire Regiment, covering the regions of Worcester, Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Bewdley, Evesham and Bromsgrove.  It lists 15 men from Badsey, one from Aldington and four from Wickhamford.

·         ADDIS, Walter - Badsey; Machine Gun Corps Harrowby Camp, Grantham, Lance Corporal (156296)

·         ALLSEBROOK, Harold - Badsey; Royal Air Force 81st Wing, Lieutenant

·         BAILEY, Frederick George - Evesham St Lawrence [also listed at Evesham St Peter Bengeworth]; Worcestershire Regiment 11th Battalion, Private (27174)

·         BARNARD, Arthur Edward - Badsey; Royal Marine Light Infantry HMS Cordelia (19624)

·         BEARCROFT, Arthur Joshua - Badsey; Army Service Corps, Sergeant (42671)

·         BELL, Alfred (Junior) - Aldington; Machine Gun Corps Transport (103515)

·         BOTT, Harry - Badsey; Labour Corps 876th Employment Company, Private (515232)

·         BREWER, George - Badsey; Wiltshire Regiment 5th Battalion, Private (34672)

·         BREWER, Stephen - Badsey; Machine Gun Corps C Company, No 14 Battalion, Lance Corporal (45923)

·         BROADIE, William John - Aldington; Non-Combatant Corps No 10 East Battalion Company, Milton Barracks, Gravesend, Private (3740)

·         BROWN, Alexander - Badsey; Army Ordnance Corps 97 Company, Private (27111)

·         CAMDEN, George William - Wyre Piddle; Army Service Corps (65224)

·         CHAMBERLAIN, Arthur Henry - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 2/8th Battalion B Company, Private (46941)

·         COLLETT, George - Badsey; Army Service Corps 424 Labour Company, Private (529805)

·         COLLINS, Walter Joseph - Wickhamford; Worcestershire Regiment 14th Battalion, Private (25175)

·         COX, John Henry - Wickhamford; Royal Berkshire Regiment, Private (36728)

·         CRISP, Arthur George - Badsey; Royal Engineers 19th Division, Signal, Sapper (361799)

·         CULL, Edgar George - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 2/8th Battalion, Private (242194)

·         CULL, John Sydney - Broadway; Machine Gun Corps 15th LG Squadron 6th Cavalry Brigade (47558)

·         DAVIS, Clarence Thomas - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 9th Battalion, Private (38156)

·         DRINKWATER, Albert Edward - Evesham St Lawrence; Royal Fusiliers 3rd Battalion, Private (96340)

·         ELLISON, Edgar Thomas - Wickhamford; Army Service Corps, Private (278560)

·         EMMS, George William - Badsey; Army Veterinary Corps, Corporal (21272)

·         EMMS, William Ernest - Badsey; Royal Flying Corps (22114)

·         ENSTONE, William - Aldington; Grenadier Guards 3rd Battalion, Private (29288 - should be 28288)

·         EVANS, George - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 9th Battalion, Lance Corporal (15282)

·         FIGGITT, William John - Wickhamford; Labour Corps Recruit Distribution Training Battalion Reserves, Private (26508)

·         FRANKLIN, Gilbert - Broadway; Machine Gun Corps 81 Company, Private (48830)

·         FRY, Ernest - Badsey; Royal Garrison Artillery 519 Siege Battalion, Sergeant (23989)

·         GEDEN, Percy - Great and Little Hampton; Royal Warwickshire Regiment 7th Battalion Reserve, Sergeant (202711)

·         GIBBINGS, Willis Henry - Aldington; Merchant Service SS Warrior, Captain

·         GROVE, Dennis - Evesham St Lawrence; Labour Corps 211 8th Division Employment, Devons, Private (128340)

·         HAINES, William Albert - Badsey; Royal Field Artillery, Gunner (62110)

·         HALFORD, Allen Ernest - Wickhamford; Labour Corps 168 Prisoner of War Company (613517)

·         HALL, Edward Charles - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 1st Battalion, Private (38281)

·         HARRIS, John Thomas - Badsey; Royal Field Artillery X/12 Trench Mortar Battalion, Gunner (226421)

·         HARRISON, Arthur Norman - Badsey; Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport, Private (115757)

·         HARTWELL, George William - Badsey; Worcestershire Yeomanry, Trooper (325921)

·         HARTWELL, Raymond Percy - Wickhamford; Worcestershire Regiment 9th Battalion, Private (177271)

·         HARTWELL, Richard - Badsey; Royal Field Artillery, Gunner (199616)

·         HAWKER, Henry John - Evesham St Lawrence; Royal Engineers 278 Division, Sergeant (190654)

·         HAYWARD, William Leslie - Badsey; Royal Field Artillery, Gunner (126507)

·         HICKMAN, Arthur - Badsey; Worcestershire Yeomanry, Lieutenant

·         HORSFIELD, Henry Taylor - Evesham St Peter Bengeworth

·         HUGHES, Albert - Badsey; Army Service Corps, Private (352671)

·         HUTCHINGS, Richard William - Badsey; Royal Navy HMS The Proserpine (2955)

·         JEFFERIES, Cecil - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 1st Battalion, Private (9124)

·         JELFS, Edmund Joseph - Badsey; Labour Corps 627 Agricultural Company, Private (523588)

·         JELFS, Ernest - Badsey; Labour Corps 424 Agricultural Company, Private (541034 - should be 541434)

·         JELFS, Fitz Colin - Badsey; Royal Engineers 549th Battalion Field Company, Driver (38183)

·         JELFS, George - Badsey; Army Service Corps, Private (42453)

·         JINKS, Alfred Richard - Badsey; Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Signaller (30144)

·         JINKS, Harry (Junior) - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 2/8th Battalion, Private (35768)

·         KEEN, William George - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 2/8th Battalion, Private (241510)

·         KERR, Alfred Poole - Badsey; Labour Corps 398 HSE, Private (516118)

·         KILBY, Benjamin - Evesham All Saints [also registered at Broadway]; Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1st Garrison Battalion, Private (13734)

·         KNIGHT, Albert Edward - Badsey; Labour Corps 627 Company, Private (681132)

·         KNIGHT, Charles - Badsey; Labour Corps 627 Company, Private (546418)

·         KNIGHT, John (Junior) - Badsey; Royal Garrison Artillery, Gunner (29693)

·         KNIGHT, Sydney Valentine - Badsey; Northumberland Fusiliers, Staff Sergeant (56959)

·         KNIGHT, Thomas - Badsey; Somerset Light Infantry 11th Battalion, Private (206346)

·         MAJOR, Thomas Ernest - Evesham St Peter Bengeworth; Royal Field Artillery, Gunner (845731)

·         MALIN, William John - Badsey; Labour Corps Worcestershire, Private (681132)

·         MARSHALL, Thomas Henry - Badsey; Royal Garrison Artillery 521 Household Siege Battery, Gunner (197771)

·         MASON, Thomas - Wickhamford; Royal Fusiliers 26th Battalion, Captain

·         MOISEY, William Oliver - Badsey; Labour Corps 9 Section/143rd Labour, Private (94513)

·         MOORE, Walter - Aldington; Worcestershire Regiment 1st Battalion, Sergeant (12024)

·         MOULBERY, Henry - Badsey; Labour Corps 190th Company British Expeditionary Force, Private (415381)

·         NIGHTINGALE, William Francis - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 3rd Battalion, Private (203769)

·         PARKER, Charles Henry - Broadway; Labour Corps 512 HSE Company, Private (599947)

·         PERKINS, James Thomas - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 3rd Battalion, Private (325922)

·         PITMAN, John Thomas - Wickhamford; Army Service Corps 424 Agricultural Labour Company (502524)

·         PITTS, George Henry - Wickhamford; Worcestershire Regiment 1/8th Battalion, Private (204277)

·         PRICE, Leonard - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 10th Battalion, Drummer (19166)

·         RUSSELL, Richard - Badsey; Royal Field Artillery 20th Brigade 27th Division, Driver (86774)

·         SADLER, Frank - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 1/8th Battalion, Private (49265)

·         SALTER, Arthur - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 7th Battalion, Private (203965)

·         SAVAGE, Charles - Badsey; Labour Corps 211 Employment Company, Private (46026)

·         SEABRIGHT, Charles Alfred - Bishampton; Hampshire Regiment (23577)

·         SMITH, Arthur William - Evesham St Peter Bengeworth; Worcestershire Regiment 9th Battalion, Corporal (349)

·         SNELL, William Guy - Wickhamford;  Eastern Company Depot Shoreham-by-Sea, 2nd Lieutenant

·         STEWART, Frederick Charles - Badsey; Labour Corps Worcs Agricultural Labour Company, Private (139823)

·         SUMMERS, Clifford - Pershore St Andrew; Machine Gun Corps (106666)

·         TAYLOR, Fred - Evesham All Saints; Labour Corps 627 Agricultural Company, Private (521103)

·         TAYLOR, John - Wickhamford; Worcestershire Regiment 14th Battalion, Lance Corporal (33552)

·         TURNER, Frederick - Wickhamford; Army Veterinary Corps, Private (20546)

·         VEAL, Albert George - Evesham St Peter Bengeworth; Royal Navy HMS Rival, AB (23747)

·         WALDREN, Frederick Stanley - Badsey; Royal Sussex Regiment 2/6th Battalion, Private (265752)

·         WALKER, Geoffrey - Badsey; Worcestershire Regiment 1st Battalion, Corporal (10803)

·         WASLEY, William Charles - Aldington; Military Foot Police, Lance Corporal (8701)

·         WILKINS, Charles William - Aldington; Royal Field Artillery, Gunner (162605)

·         WILSON, Joseph Cecil - Badsey; Army Service Corps, Sergeant (36024)

·         WILSON, Thomas John - Badsey; Machine Gun Corps 47 Company, Private (103504)

·         WINNETT, Harry – Wickhamford [also registered at Great and Little Hampton]; Worcestershire Regiment 4th Battalion, Private (27899)