When we were first asked to digitise the Parish Returns, we were initially a little disappointed – we had really wanted to do some transcription for the project. However, our misgivings were short-lived as we rapidly realised we were in the unique position of reading all 172 returns – and what a privilege that was.
One of the first mysteries was: ‘Who was JHW who wielded a red pen on all the returns?’ The answer is on the Somerset Remembers Blog posted on the 17 September 2013
We learnt about the work of the children of the county collecting conkers to help with munition making, the big houses requisitioned as military hospitals, the endless collections to help fund the war effort, the boys from Bristol Grammar School who helped harvest the flax, to be made into linen to cover the aeroplane frames – the information revealed was endless.
We estimate that we have digitised over 1200 pages and have now started on some transcription. The prize for the best Parish Return goes to Yeovil which was well over 100 pages!
This article was written by Chris and Katharin Dalton; volunteers for the Somerset Remembers Project.