A little while ago, we ventured into the land of silliness and amusement with the 1939 Register. Long-term FWL followers will recall various posts over the years from the 1911 census which have included occupations such as fairy workers (more often, dairy workers) and angels (more often angle grinders), as well as other daft names (more often than not, real!). The 1939 Register is a wonderful new resource for our daily research challenges and, it would seem, it also provides its fair share of hilarity, in various guises.
Circus clowns are few and far between although Charles H. Austin (b. 1880) makes the grade (the transcript states his occupation as ‘Cicus Clown’) and then in Godstone, there are a whole host of trapeze artists, circus animal attendants, theatrical artistes and more! It’s a shame there is no place of birth listed on the 1939 Register as, of the seven trapeze references, most have unpronounceable/mis-transcribed surnames at the very least, and few appear to have been born in England.
Searching for Jesus, returns many college students at Jesus College, Oxford or Cambridge as well as Harold Heathcote who was an HM Inspector of Taxes or, as the 1939 Register would have you know, ‘Heavy Work Inspection Jesus‘ (so many comments, so little time!). On the flip side, William Topley is recorded as a ‘bell end man’ – a rather unfortunate term in today’s society….
William H. Adams is listed as ‘Engineer Royal Arse‘ and many of his fellow arses fall within the Woolwich Arsenal or Munition Workers in the Royal ‘Arse’, if the truth be told. And then, Joseph Harris‘ occupation is transcribed exactly as it appears:
along with hundreds of cooks who don’t quite appear correctly….. honestly, the list is endless. Carriers appear to frequently have been transcribed as conmen and there are six ‘thief’ references which range from Insurance Broker Chief Clerk (not Thief and Clerk!) to Sheep Skin something or another (not Thief Skin Classes!).
So, what other interesting transcriptions have you located? We’d love to hear your finds!