The 1918 Electoral Register was drawn up under the 1918 Act to recognise the part that men and women had played in the First World War, with voting rights being dependent either on six months’ residence or on occupation of business premises worth £10 a year.
However, women’s rights were limited. The women had to be householders or the wives of householders or to have been to university.
Men could vote in their place of residence or business and/or that in which they had graduated.
The attached spreadsheet gives both my transcription of the register and a listing by street address, the numbers of which have been mostly researched from the House Names list viewable on the Benfleet Archive.
Some interesting local family names can be seen among the records: Henry Yeaxley, some Stibbards, Choppens and 14 different residences of the Smith families and 7 of the Snow family.
However, there are 752 entries altogether, in about 400 different dwellings and a goldmine for those trying to research their local family histories.
There is a beauty in some of the old names, lots of Georges and Marys, but also the wonderful Oswald Mortimer Telfer Clarke and Letitia Sarah Loder Forshaw. Perhaps surprisingly, many of the names are once more back in vogue, but take a look and see if you agree.
(No doubt, I have made a few errors, but wherever possible, I’ve stuck to the spellings in the original listing, some of which definitely look odd to modern eyes).