Your Worcester on the eve of war
In 1939, on the eve of World War II, the British government introduced an act that would allow them to gather vital information about the country’s population. This information would inform their decisions on identity cards, rationing, conscription and more. The 1939 Register is now available online in partnership with The National Archives, providing an unprecedented insight into a country on the verge of war. Discover your house, your street and your family at the outbreak of World War II.
If you’re wondering how to start exploring the 1939 Register, we’ve created this short video that tells you everything you need to know about making your first search. If you’d like to know more, continue reading and we’ll give you some helpful tips and tricks that will assist in refining your search and allow you to discover a world on the eve of war.
As war broke out in September 1939, a National Register was taken, recording the names and details of 41 million civilians in England and Wales. In this exclusive video, broadcaster and author Andrew Marr explains the extraordinary significance of this unique record set.
The History of Worcester
The trade route past Worcester which later formed part of the Roman Ryknild Street dates to Neolithic times. The position commanded a ford over the River Severn (the river was tidal past Worcester prior to public works projects in the 1840s) and was fortified by the Britons around 400 bc.
It would have been on the northern border of the Dobunni and probably subject to the larger communities of the Malvern hillforts. The Roman settlement at the site passes unmentioned by Ptolemy's Geography, the Antonine Itinerary, and the Register of Dignitaries but would have grown up on the road opened between Glevum (Gloucester) and Viroconium (Wroxeter) in the ad 40s and 50s.
It may have been the "Vertis" mentioned in the 7th-century Ravenna Cosmography. Using charcoal from the Forest of Dean, the Romans operated pottery kilns and ironworks at the site and may have built a small fort.