Records of those not fit to serve in the First World War
Have you ever heard of prosopography? I must admit, it was a new one for me as well. The basic meaning of the word is a study into the common characteristics of a historical group whose lives otherwise may have little recorded. These studies often use statistics gleamed from data which can sometimes have seemingly little relevance.
You may be surprised to hear, for example, that you can utilise our collection of Middlesex County appeals against conscription (from record series MH 47) to investigate the health of First World War London.
MH 47 contains over 11,000 records relating to people from Middlesex who were appealing against their conscription into the army. The men could appeal on one of seven different grounds and it is the men who applied under code E, ‘On grounds of ill-health or infirmity’, which interests me the most. Continue reading »