1939 Summary

At the start of WWII, the National Register was taken on 29th September 1939 and listed the personal details of every civilian in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Of the 124 records found searching for Pullum, 10 were excluded because they were double entries or not Pullums.

Of the 1003 on my database (as of August 2016) 277 probably should have been on the 1939 Register.

A search for these found a further 114 Pullums, meaning the records had been found for a total of 147.

For the others, 52 were closed records but 39 could almost definitely be identified but for the other 13, there was some doubt. 78 records were not found.

1939 register groups analysed graph

For the records found

There were 70 males and 77 females

The ages ranged from 1 (possibly 9months) to 84 years in a normal distribution skewed slightly to the left with no significant difference between males and females.

65% were married, 6% widowed and 29% single.

Nearly half of individuals were not in paid employment.
Of those who were employed about a third were in manufacturing.

The 147 individuals were in 72 households.
This included some multi-generation households and situations where a family was split and found in two households.

34% of individuals (38% of households) were in London.
Also several places then in Essex and Middlesex are now in London.

All 147 individuals found were descended from one of 3 sons of
Joseph Pullum and Marie Le Franc / Free. (trees were constructed).

For the closed records

People in the Register who were born less than 100 years and a day ago and are still alive are ‘officially closed’.
The Register was updated until 1991, meaning that the record of anyone who was born less than 100 years and a day ago but died prior to 1991 is not closed.

Individuals on my database who would be on the 1939 register but whose records would be closed were either not found or considered in one of 2 groups:

  1. Closed likely

There were 39 individuals whose records were closed but their entry on the 1939 register was almost definitely found. This is because all of the individuals were with their parent(s) and / or siblings except in one case, where she was with her husband.

There were 14 males and 25 females

The majority were under 11 but this may be because the older children’s records are open as they have died earlier.

  1. Closed Possible

There were 13 individuals whose records were closed and it was possible that the record had been identified but there was some doubt.  The usual reason for the doubt was that there were less closed records in the same household as the parent(s) than those parent(s) had children.
Therefore there are 7 closed records that could be for 13 individuals.
So it could be considered as 7 records found and 6 not found.

There were 6 males and 7 females

The lack of older children that was seen with the other closed records is not repeated in this group.

Operation Pied Piper, began on 1 September 1939 and officially relocated more than 3.5 million people over 3 days. Therefore it is possible that 6 of these children (i.e. the ones that can be considered not found) were evacuated as they lived in London. However the 4 who were 5 and under, would only have been evacuated with their mother.

For the records not found

The 78 individuals who were not found on the 1939 register were examined to see if there may be a reason for them not being found.

Closed records
Although a good reason for not finding these individuals, one of the 4 could have been identified if they had been with their parents. This is true also for 2 of the other 3 under 100 years old (but who died before 1991), one who was a sibling.
Possibly not Alive
After consulting life expectancy tables, it seemed reasonable to consider that the 24 individuals over 79 years were probably not alive. But not having dates of death for all but one I could not be sure.  Ironically the only one in the over 79years group for whom I had a death date, was still alive in 1939.
Women who had married / remarried
There were 19 females of marriageable age. 3 were married with husbands still alive and possible a 4th (if her husband had died she had not remarried). One may have married earlier and another may have left the country. For the rest,there was insufficient data on them.
Men in the Army
There were no males of conscriptionable age, so the only ones possibly in the army were career soldiers (none known) or volunteers.
Possibly not Pullum
For 22 individuals, few records had been found for them, to the extent that it was possible that they were not Pullums, had changed their name or were duplicates.
Relationship clues
8 should have been with at least one other individuals. For most of those who were probably alone, there was enough evidence that they should have been on the register except for one.
For 28 of the 78 individuals not found on the 1939 register there was no obvious reason for this.

William Banner Alexander PullumEnlistment 1940


147 records were found.
39 closed records almost definitely identified.
Therefore there are 7 closed records that could be for 13 individuals.
So it could be considered as 7 records found and 6 not found.
For 28 of the 78 individuals not found on the 1939 register there was no obvious reason for not finding.
Therefore I should have found at least 227 and did find 193 (147 + 39 + 7) which is 85%.

It was possible that some had been evacuated but it did not seem that any of the men were in the army (yet).

The gender, age and marital status distributions were as expected.
Occupations were diversifying compared to previously, reflecting a movement to “the modern age” but all the married women were in “unpaid domestic duties”.
The location was mostly as previously found but there was some migration to the suburbs with only a few further afield.

Update November 2016
as some closed records were opened

updated 25.11.16