Absent voters’ lists
The United Kingdom General Election of 1918 was held on 14 December 1918, just a month after the Armistice with Germany that ended the First World War.
Many men were still far away from their homes and would have been unable to vote.
The 1916 Representation of the People Act made provision for members of the armed forces to be listed in separate registers under the constituencies in which they normally lived. The Absent Voters’ Lists enabled servicemen and women to vote by proxy or by postal application when away from home on active service. The Act also applied to members of the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance Brigade and anyone whose work was officially recognised as being of national importance in connection with the war. The lists record the home address of the absent voter, but more importantly they give service numbers and regimental details.
Most Absent Voters’ Lists cover the few years after 1918. However, the London Metropolitan Archives holds some registers through to 1939. In addition to these separate registers, from 1918 to 1949 for the area under the jurisdiction of the London County Council, absent voters are marked in the normal civilian register of electors with an ‘a’; and from 1949 to 1979 they are indicated by an ‘s’ for service voter.
WW1 soldiers may have voted by proxy or post