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voltaire60

ELECTORAL REGISTERS 1914, 1915 AND 1918

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keithmroberts

It appears that while there were parliamentary by elections, local government vacancies did no cause by-elections.

 

As no new register was drawn up, the question of adding names must have been interesting, as one of the Hansard reports includes a reference to the considerable movement, not just of service personnel but also of civilians. I'm not sure what provision, if any existed in the pre-war legislation which was the basis of the 1915 register. I still suspect that the register was frozen, and therefore increasingly less accurate until the 1918 register was drawn up.  I will try to get down to the local archives to look at the 1915 registers here later in the week for any evidence of amendment or reprinting.

 

Keith

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ss002d6252

 

21 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

It appears that while there were parliamentary by elections, local government vacancies did no cause by-elections.

 

As no new register was drawn up, the question of adding names must have been interesting, as one of the Hansard reports includes a reference to the considerable movement, not just of service personnel but also of civilians. I'm not sure what provision, if any existed in the pre-war legislation which was the basis of the 1915 register. I still suspect that the register was frozen, and therefore increasingly less accurate until the 1918 register was drawn up.  I will try to get down to the local archives to look at the 1915 registers here later in the week for any evidence of amendment or reprinting.

 

Keith

I'd agree with you that they were officially frozen

In 1916 Parliamentary discussions took place over whether a new bill should be passed to create a new register. This suggest that the process had been frozen and new legislation was needed to re-start it.

 

EDIT:

In July 1915 the creation of new registers was officially suspended. http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000272%2f19150727%2f024

Capture.JPG.f523de9b922a4c2c48d1ecccfb786fea.JPG

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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keithmroberts

And just as a further confirmation, I am looking through the 1915 Register for Portsmouth and can see no evidence of any amendments at all to the printed version.

 

keith

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voltaire60
36 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

And just as a further confirmation, I am looking through the 1915 Register for Portsmouth and can see no evidence of any amendments at all to the printed version.

 

keith

 

     Keith-I am not sure that amendments would be there in the 1915 register. If you have the chance, do you have access to a distinctly pre-war register-ie 1913 or back. That might act as "control" . If,say-1913 is amended, then it would show that amendments were physically written in a printed register. If not, then the norm would  be for records of those coming forward to register between publication were elsewhere. Be intersted to know- my local authority does not hold the pre-war registers-and the FMP set from BL are, of course, sent up under Legal Deposit-thus, unamended lcoally.

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Phil Wood
On 7/11/2017 at 10:45, keithmroberts said:

And just as a further confirmation, I am looking through the 1915 Register for Portsmouth and can see no evidence of any amendments at all to the printed version.

 

keith

 

The fact that it was printed suggests there were multiple copies - there may have been a dog-eared, much modified one that was deemed too tatty to keep.

 

On the original post - just how useful is the 1915 register in tracking mislaid casualties? The proportion of WW1 servicemen who were entitled to vote in 1914/15 must hve been pretty small. On top of which those who could vote are usually the chaps who are the easier to trace - higher profile citizens, more likely to have their death announced in the paper, to leave a will, etc, etc.  Nevertheless, no stone left unturned - I shall obviously have to check a few names myself!

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voltaire60
1 hour ago, Phil Wood said:

 

The fact that it was printed suggests there were multiple copies - there may have been a dog-eared, much modified one that was deemed too tatty to keep.

 

On the original post - just how useful is the 1915 register in tracking mislaid casualties? The proportion of WW1 servicemen who were entitled to vote in 1914/15 must hve been pretty small. On top of which those who could vote are usually the chaps who are the easier to trace - higher profile citizens, more likely to have their death announced in the paper, to leave a will, etc, etc.  Nevertheless, no stone left unturned - I shall obviously have to check a few names myself!

 

      Phil- I would agree-up to a point-but my local 1915 register (Southern Division of Essex-or Romford) was a pleasant surprise. Yes, many of the electors are easily traced through the local Kelly or equivalent-the householders, whether by ownership, leasehold or rent are the ratepayers who get listed in the local directories. And, yes, there are many men who just don't appear at all through being too poor.  But Division 4 voters-lodgers for parliamentary and local is very useful. It lists those who were lodgers in the Summer of 1914.

   I have problems with 2 classes of war dead- those on local memorials who are not on the 1911 Census-and those where a local connection is listed under "Residence" in SDGW. The 1915 register has cleared up a good few of these. Those moving in after the 1911 census are the worst- a time-consuming pain in the derriere. The 1915 register has nailed a few of them. SDGW has quite a few where the casualty has listed my area as his residence (not withstanding errors by the Ancestry transcriber)s. Lodgers also includes the sons of the main householders-listed as renting a furnished room usually-Helps with who was there when the war started. And, of course, there were more people renting in 1914-1915 as lodgers than there were owners.

    Again, the 1915 register and the 1918 register- both the normal and the AVL are the main weapon to crack another tiresome problem.- Running the name of my local area as a keyword on CWGC. Yes, it throws up parents and spouses of casualties but it reflects that they were there when the CWGC did the headstones in the 1920s mostly- not whether they were there during the war.

    There is a gap in the middle- after the 1915 register and before the 1918 one. Given that the 1918 register is based in part on work done from the late Summer/Autumn of 1917, then it really does close the gap and eliminate all of my dodgy casualties bar one- if the casualty is not there, then usually the parent being/not being there is a way to crack it.

    The third group where the 1915 and 1918 registers help is the overseas casualties- Australia and Canada. OK, usually birth in my local area counts for listing even if the casualties was serving with Canadian or Anzac forces. What is a problem is those few who were British born, though nowhere near my local area but who are listed on local memorials. It was a perplexity but the registers usually provide the answer-close relatives,usually a brother or a sister living in my local area-where the casualty must have resided (and maybe given as his home address while on leave).  2 examples of this:

   Captain John Foster Paton Nash, DSO, KIA, 1915-British born (nowhere near my area) and spent most of his life a a rancher in British Columbia-and served with Strathcona's Horse in the Boer War. His widow is listed as being in Whitchurch ,just south of Tavistock,after the war. The connection turned out to be a married sister living in the area-hence he is on the local memorial. The other example is better known- Captain Charles Campbell May, 22nd Manchesters, KIA Mametz Wood, 1st July 1916- the author of quite recently published diaries ("To Fight Alongside Friends")- but his home address on the paperwork and probate is in Manchester- he was the Northern rep. for the family fire alarm business (The May-Oatway System). But the registers help establish that his family members were in my area- thouugh his wife's letters come from a local address,she is not on the Register-as being female and still under 30 come the RPA 1918.

    The above 2 are a little problem which I think is disproportionately London centered in regard to overseas casualties and their connections with the London area-  If members of the Canadian or Australian forces in France were British emigrants, then leave time from France was short and it would often be best to stay with the nearest relative in England-usually a brother or sister,as many of them were those who were child emigrants whose parents were still out in the Dominions-It made sense ,for example, for Charlie May to come back to a family home in Wanstead -in his wife's home area and where his mother lived-rather than slog up to Withington and eat up his leave in extra travelling.

 

       Pip,pip

          Mike

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keithmroberts

Voltaire

 

I might be back at the archives here next week, but it depends on whether they can give me access to a particular record set. if I do make it I will call up a 1913 register, but the real procedure would be to look at the legislation under which the 1914 register was compiled. If it did not permit amendments, then no local government official would even contemplate making them.

 

The registers that I have examined for 1915, 1918 and Spring 1919 are the "for the record" copies with additional inserts about constituency numbers signed by a senior official. I queried manuscript annotations on the 1918 register  PE  in another thread and pending further discovery am inclined to the view that they indicate the small number of electors who held  the newly introduced option of proxy votes and why such annotations appear throughout the 1918 register, although in very small numbers. I would expect these to show clearly any additions to the register and there are none. 

 

I seem to recollect that it was a new departure only a few years ago when it became possible ( arguably in part due to new technology), to add names to the current registers.

 

Keith

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voltaire60

KR- No great rush- it was just a small, arcane point-Your previous reply seemed to be done while you were still at the archives- As I live in a successor London Borough to the County of Essex, our registers only go back so far-and I have not tried Essex RO for registers as yet (Nor,thanks to BL and FMP should I have to). But "hands on" looking at a register beats trying to locate instructions from the Local Government Board (let alone understanding them-no change there then!) The small point at issue was whether anyone was disfranchised -whether or not there were elections- during the war due to being moved around. I have no memory of any grumbles during the RPA debates of 1917-1918 that this was so.

    On a wider point, I don't think that enough attention has been paid to the large group of men who were enfranchised in 1918 but who were not in the 19-21 "Old Enough to Fight,Old Enough to Vote" category. Two things come to mind on this:

1)  The 19-20 years olds were probably outnumbered in being newly enfranchised in 1918 by those in the armed forces,esp. France and Flanders,who were 21+. I think it was the impetus to enfranchise these men that pushed the voting age back to 19 for those serving there.

2) A look at the 1918 AVL register would show a lot of men comfortably over 21 who were doing military service of some sort- Any page of my local AVL shows that the army at home had all sorts of odds and sods in it-odds and sods of manpower and odds and sods of units. The rump and tail of the army in England-the unfits, the derelicts,the old would,I think, have disproportionately been non-voters before the war. Thus, the enfranchisement of the rump in England is probably a greater number than those 19-20 in France.

     And a very small tailpiece-as there seems to have been an irresistible logic in 1917-1918 that male franchise would get too complicated anyway- it would have been perfectly possible  for 19-20 years olds in France to vote-and their fathers at home still not to have the vote. Given this inconsistency-and that rewarding the worthy for either home service or engagement in war work, then a general male enfranchisement was probably the only realistic way out of a potentially complicated mess.

 

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keithmroberts

Also interesting would be the young men who were enfranchised while serving but who were then released from the armed forces by early-mid 1919. One day I might try the Autumn 1919 or spring 1920 registers to see whether they lost the franchise.

 

 

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voltaire60
7 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

Also interesting would be the young men who were enfranchised while serving but who were then released from the armed forces by early-mid 1919. One day I might try the Autumn 1919 or spring 1920 registers to see whether they lost the franchise.

 

 

 

      And interesting too whether those men who had seen "foreign" service post Armistice but were still under 21 come the general election of 1922 were allowed to vote- plenty of them. Interesting if "foreign" included Ireland.

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Phil Wood

Mike - I have started on the 1915 register, but my biggest headaches are trying to decide which of several chaps who is the casualty rather than finding one who appeared post 1911. I have instances where I can find four or five in 1911, a couple dozen in the CWGC (with no Additional Data) and simply cannot find any links to attribute a name on the memorial to either a 1911 resident or a CWGC casualty. The 1915 roll may add to the 1911 list, but, in these cases, it would actually be better if I could reduce the 1911 list. Sadly the scope of the roll means I cannot be sure if the chap who is not on the roll has left town or is inelligible to vote.

 

Nevertheless there are a couple who don't appear in 1911 that I shall see if I can find.  Which would be a lot easier if FMP fixed the search engine - whenever I search for a surname in Newbury for 1915 I get a list of results with the name fields blank! They seem to be valid results, but . . .

 

I am, however, taken by the creative use of the 'Lodger' category - several sons seem to be lodging in their parent's homes.

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keithmroberts

"Lodger"  is a useful term. I have found a few "lodgers" as well as "housekeepers" who subsequently became matrimonial partners.

 

 

Keith

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voltaire60
3 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

"Lodger"  is a useful term. I have found a few "lodgers" as well as "housekeepers" who subsequently became matrimonial partners.

 

 

Keith

 

    Exactly so-  It seems clear in retrospect that "lodger" was a politeness that might cover a gay couple (of either sex), while "housekeeper"-one suspects-puts a gloss of  respectability on what may often have been co-habiting- but, of course, pretty much impossible to  break into at this distance of time.

     Another small thing-off topic-but pertinent at this point is the number of "unlikely" younger children that I have as casualties- Too many elderly parents with a youngster that seems biologically improbable- suggests either informal adoptions or the classic "elder sister" is in fact "mother"-again, the stats. suggest it but individual cases are pretty well impossible to prove without a bit of family tradition-it was certainly so in my family. Suspect it was actaully quite common.

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Phil Wood
14 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

"Lodger"  is a useful term. I have found a few "lodgers" as well as "housekeepers" who subsequently became matrimonial partners.

 

 

Keith

 

It seems to have been a specific qualification for voting - one that surprised me.  Presumably it was meant to enfranchise those renting rooms from a householder (Sherlock Holmes and Mrs Hudson come to mind).  Yet it is used to get a vote for sons who are, presumably, occupying the bedroom they had as children:

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Indefatigable

The London Metropolitan Archives Pamphlet 10 also has a section on who could vote and when. I thought it might be useful so I have copied in its entirety and shown it below:-

 

Who could vote and when

 

It is important to bear in mind that before 1928 the number of people eligible to vote in elections was restricted. Before 1867 in urban areas and before 1884 in rural areas most men could not vote and would not appear in the register. No women could vote in parliamentary elections before 1918.

 

Until 1884 there were two types of franchise: the borough and the county. In county constituencies, men over 21 who owned freehold land worth 40 shillings a year and over were qualified to vote. Before 1832 the borough franchise varied according to local custom. For example, Westminster, which was the only parliamentary borough in Middlesex at that time, had a ‘scot and lot’ franchise which qualified all men paying poor rates.

 

1832 Representation of the People Act (2 & 3 Will IV c.45)

 

For county voters the main qualification remained the holding of freehold property worth 40 shillings a year. However, the vote was extended to include £10 copyholders, £10 leaseholders (whose leases were for sixty years or more), and £50 tenants. The borough franchise was standardised in 1832 by giving the vote to owners of property worth £10. But in certain ancient chartered boroughs such as Westminster, this meant that fewer people than before could now vote. Therefore, it was enacted that anyone entitled to vote prior to 1832 might retain that right provided he remained resident in the same borough. Three new parliamentary boroughs were created within Middlesex - Finsbury, Marylebone, and Tower Hamlets.

 

1867 Representation of the People Act (30 & 31 Vic c.102)

 

The borough franchise was now given to every man who had, ‘during the whole of the preceding Twelve Calendar Months been an Inhabitant, Occupier, as Owner or Tenant, of any Dwelling House within the Borough, and has ... been rated as an ordinary occupier in respect of the premises so occupied ...’ The occupation franchise was also extended to lodgers in boroughs. Some working class men in urban areas were now able to vote for the first time. Chelsea became a parliamentary borough and Tower Hamlets was divided into two parliamentary boroughs - Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

 

1884 Representation of the People Act (48 & 49 Vic c.3)

 

The 1867 Act was applied to the counties in 1884. The distinction between the county and borough franchise was effectively abolished, and every male householder was now eligible to vote. However, half the men in the country were still unable to vote due to a clause in the Act which stated that ‘Where two or more men are owners either as joint tenants, or as tenants in common of an estate in any land or tenement, one of such men, but not more than one shall ... be entitled to be registered as a voter.’ Therefore, adult sons living at home or heads of households who shared houses were not eligible to vote. The following year the number of parliamentary boroughs in Middlesex excluding the City of London and Westminster was increased to sixteen. The remaining part of Middlesex was divided into seven parliamentary divisions.

 

1918 Representation of the People Act (7 & 8 Geo V c.64)

 

This Act enabled all men over 21 to vote. Women were allowed to qualify if they were local government voters, or the wives of local government voters provided that they were over 30.

 

1928 Equal Franchise Act (18 & 19 Geo V c.12)

 

Women over 21 became eligible to vote under this Act.

 

1948 Representation of the People Act (11 & 12 Geo VI c.65)

This Act abolished the business premises and university seats qualifications to vote which ensured that no person had more than one vote.

 

1969 Representation of the People Act (17 & 18 Ez II c.15)

 

The voting age was lowered to 18 years of age (this became effective from 1971). This Act also stated that those becoming eighteen during the period covered by the annual electoral register will have the date on which they reach their eighteenth birthday inserted in the register and they are able to vote from that date.

 

regards

Indefatigable

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keithmroberts

Interesting - maybe I didn't look far enough at the 1915 register.  The extract below is from the British Library

 

In 1832 the borough franchise was standardised and simplified and the existing
county franchise was supplemented by a complex variety of new franchises. In
English boroughs the franchise was now extended to the £10 householder, that is
an occupier of property, either as owner or tenant, worth £10 per year, or lodgers
if the value of the property occupied divided by the number of lodgers exceeded
£10 per year.
 
And later: 
The 1867 Reform Act (1868 in Scotland) extended the borough/burgh franchise
to all householders subject to a one year residential qualification and the payment
of rates, and to lodgers occupying lodgings worth £10 per yearsubject also to one
years residence
I think this latter was still the basis of the franchise until  the 1918 act.
 
 
Keith

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Phil Wood

Interesting that the lodging had to be wirth £10 a year - though it doesn't actually state that the lodger had to be paying it. Made it easy for sons of the middle classes to get a vote.

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voltaire60
19 hours ago, Phil Wood said:

Interesting that the lodging had to be wirth £10 a year - though it doesn't actually state that the lodger had to be paying it. Made it easy for sons of the middle classes to get a vote.

 

      Phil- Another esoteric problem with the lodger's list on the Electoral register is that it may not imply day-to-day residence. I have one chap on my local electoral register for 1915 at the parental address "renting" a room- but records elsewhere indicate that he was married and away living in Wallington, Surrey. I suspect that, although normal residential for most purposes (ie Our sort of work), there may have been some element of absenteeism in it-that votes were claimed even if the person was absent.

On 7/13/2017 at 20:55, Phil Wood said:

I have instances where I can find four or five in 1911, a couple dozen in the CWGC (with no Additional Data) and simply cannot find any links to attribute a name on the memorial to either a 1911 resident or a CWGC casualty.

 

        Same here- but the 1915 register and AVL has substantially dented  the gap- I suspect you probably have the same criterion as myself (and a friend who has done the neighbouring borough,of Woodford, Essex)- that anyone on a memorial is included-Such men must have been included for a reason originally and that may be lost to history-but the listing is what counts.

    I still have to back-track to Soldiers Effects for some men- to get the relatives who are listed for war gratuity and back-pay-most useful with common names.

    I think you do a lot more memorials than me- your chunk of Berkshire is a lot bigger than lil ol' Wanstead  What surprised me was the post-Armistice deaths up the opening of the main local war memorial. My local memorial was opened 30th April 1922-so, given construction time, it is pretty much in line with the official end of the war in 1921. And men who died of illness or the effects of wounds are included- it seems that people, of course, were much more aware of what the "real" causes of someone's death were, regardless of the Ministry of Pensions.  I have one man untraced who is listed-I am pretty sure who he must be but can find no record of his death- which raises the same erudite problem as with census and birth records- under-registration. Although there are many safeguards against it, I think there may be a small element of non-registration of deaths.

 

       The greatest  query I have with the 1915 register lodgers is that there are a lot of names on it I do not recognize. Thus, I am pondering whether I should just run them against CWGC to see if any of them were casualties later in the war but perhaps had moved out of area after the register was compiled. Whether residence at the beginning of the war should be a criterion for inclusion on a Roll is a moot point-and I am not yet decided on it. I think I will probably run it and see if anything turns up-at the moment ,the decider may be to pick up men with a local connection (ie there is 1914) who are not otherwise remembered. A little bit of conscience (Conscience? Moi?) suggests I should err more towards those who are the most likely to be neglected.

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keithmroberts

Local memorials do include interesting cases and as you say the decision as to who is featured is a local matter. On the list of men who lost their lives on the second of the two memorials that I was/am working on, I have confirmed beyond doubt that two, both RN died of GPI. One is listed by CWGC because he died in the naval asylum at Haslar. The other lasted a few months after discharge and is not listed.

 

Good luck with the lodgers, proving a definite identity from just a name is so often  a nightmare.

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voltaire60
37 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

Local memorials do include interesting cases and as you say the decision as to who is featured is a local matter. On the list of men who lost their lives on the second of the two memorials that I was/am working on, I have confirmed beyond doubt that two, both RN died of GPI. One is listed by CWGC because he died in the naval asylum at Haslar. The other lasted a few months after discharge and is not listed.

 

Good luck with the lodgers, proving a definite identity from just a name is so often  a nightmare.

 

     Keith-  It's pretty straightfoward- the lodger's register gives full names- None of this "J.Smith"  nonsense. Not infallible but it picks up a few names for consideration and , in football terms  gives "assists" for others. OK, there are still some where there are multiples, but it all helps.

 

PS-I am perplexed by "GPI"-  An economic term for  "Genuine Progess Indicator" -but I have not come across it for the Great War. Could you enlighten???

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Phil Wood

If only I had a 1918 AVL! 

 

Some of the Newbury lodgers (currently I am only researching Newbury casualties, not all of West Berks) were certainly absent - for instance George Austin on the sample I posted - was in France with the BEF. Crossed on the same boat as Sir John French.  

 

There are 339 names on the Newbury memorial (WW1) - I am down to 13 that I am unsure of. I suspect that as many as 6 may be duplicate entries - impossible to prove but it seems to me to be likely that some if not all of these 6 are clerical errors. Which leaves 7 - and it certainly doesn't help when they are not listed by the CWGC.

 

The 7 - W Allaway, R Bailey, G Donovan, F Holmes, W King, WJ Smith, AG Rolfe.

 

WJ Smith may even be another clerical error - there should be two WS Smiths, but there is only one. Was someone's handwriting such that an S looked like a J?

 

And Voltaire - GPI = General Paresis of the Insane, syphilis by a fancier name.

Edited by Phil Wood

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voltaire60
12 minutes ago, Phil Wood said:

And Voltaire - GPI = General Paresis of the Insane, syphilis by a fancier name.

 

    Phil. Than you. I have led a sheltered life

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voltaire60

Phil- W.Alloway- Could this be your man-   

 

ALLAWAY, WILLIAM CHARLES

Rank:
Private
Service No:
20927
Date of Death:
30/10/1917
Age:
21
Regiment/Service:
Wiltshire Regiment
 
"C" Coy. 5th Bn.
Grave Reference:
Plot Q. Grave 31.
Cemetery:
BOLARUM CAVALRY BARRACKS CEMETERY
 
Additional Information:
Son of William C. and Agnes Allaway, of 123, Alpine St., Reading, Berkshire.

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Phil Wood
2 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

Phil- W.Alloway- Could this be your man-   

 

ALLAWAY, WILLIAM CHARLES

 

He is the best fit I can find, but I have not been able to find any Newbury connection - http://westberkshirewarmemorials.org.uk/texts/stories/WBP00948S.php 

 

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ss002d6252
22 minutes ago, Phil Wood said:

 

He is the best fit I can find, but I have not been able to find any Newbury connection - http://westberkshirewarmemorials.org.uk/texts/stories/WBP00948S.php 

 

The only connection with Newbury I can see is a distant one - William's aunt (via his uncle Albert) was from Newbury but it appears they lived in Reading. Probably too distant to be a decent chance.

 

Craig

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