After the war 172 parishes returned the details of their war effort to the county. The information in these returns included the men that served, war work, charity work and war hospitals. It was originally planned for these returns to be published; they were annotated in red for this purpose, however the publication was never forthcoming and the returns have, as a result, become a little used resource.
Two volunteers have begun the task of digitising these returns, page by page, for the purpose of being passed on to other volunteers for transcription into word documents. The returns, so far, vary in size from 1 page up to 64 pages.
The information within the returns has already contributed to a previous blog article about the aviator Sergeant Street, as well as other areas of research and ideas for the exhibition.
The project team are also speculating about who the red-pen wielding editor could have been, as he appears to have written some of the returns himself. He may have been a journalist based at the Western Gazette offices in Yeovil, because some of the returns are handwritten on the back of the newspaper’s headed note paper.
Keep checking here for further news of the secrets uncovered from the parish returns…