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1939 Identity Register: 

Friday 29th September

Note this section is constantly been updated as additional names are released.

The Identity Register contains details of more than 41 million individuals.

Lines left blank indicate a person is either still alive (details remain confidential) or has died recently.

For each individual, the following details are included:

  • address

  • schedule number

  • sub number

  • surname

  • first name(s)

  • role (for institutions only – for example, Officer, Visitor, Servant, Patient, Inmate)

  • gender

  • date of birth

  • marital status

  • occupation

  • whether the individual was a member of the armed services or reserves

  • information is arranged by enumeration district and household 

Below are the original 1939 Identity Cards for Sally Stone's grandparents: Alfred William and Annie Plews, Household No. 14. Alfred William Plews card is different from his wife Annie because he was an Air Raid Precaution Warden (see further details below). A phonograph of his helmet and whistle are also shown below. Sally Stone's father, Douglas A. Dobbing gas mask and box are also photographed below. Douglas can be viewed at Household No. 53, Ashington Farm, aged 11. He was required to take his gas mask and box to his school, Yorebride, Askrigg.


Several different wartime occupations can be viewed in the register.


Alfred Plews 1939 ID Card A
Annie Plews 1939 ID Card A
Alfred Plews 1939 ID Card B
Annie Plews 1939 D Card B

Courtesy of Sally Stone.

ARP Warden helmet & whistle
Douglas Dobbing's Gas Mask + box
© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time

Below is a photograph of the men who volunteered from West Burton Home Guard, during WW2.

Many who lived in Burton-cum-Walden can be viewed in the 1939 I.D. Register for Burton-cum-Walden (below.

West Burton - Home Guard WW2
© Thoralby Through Time

Photograph courtesy of Sally Stone.

Below are photographs of the men who volunteered from West Burton Home Guard, during WW2, on the village Cross and village green.

West Burton Home Guard WW2
© Thoralby Through Time

Photographs courtesy of the late Angela Kershaw.

One service that West Burton did have unlike nearby Thoralby was a garage and petrol station, know as Meggisons. Photographs of the petrol station in West Burton, below.








Petrol rationing in World War Two

At the outbreak of the Second World War, petrol was the first commodity to be rationed as all petrol had to come from overseas. Then in 1942 petrol for private use was withdrawn completely. It was only available for work deemed essential, and a special permit was needed to obtain it. Cars were therefore absent from the roads. All large cars were confiscated and converted into vans and ambulances.

The outcome for children was that, as there were no private cars on the roads, the streets were playgrounds. Children  would play on the streets without any concern about traffic. 

The first petrol coupons: 1939

War was declared on 3rd September 1939 and the Government was ready by the 8th of September with its coupons for rationing petrol which it called 'motor spirit'. Coupons were dated the 15th of September. However, they could not be used until the 16th of September when the rationing was to come into force. Only two coupons were available at this time. They are identical in every respect apart from an AA at the top right hand side of one and an AB at the top right hand side of the other.

How petrol coupons were obtained and used in WW2

Applicants for petrol coupons were required to produce their car or motor cycle registration book at a Post Office, whereupon they received two ration books one marked 'first month' and one marked 'second month'. The books contained coupons for the quantity of 'motor spirit' allowed them according to the rating of the vehicle as shown in the registration book.

Each coupon represented one unit. At the time, a unit represented one gallon, although that was open to change. (Later coupons - see below - could be for more than one unit.)

The ration books were only valid during the period for which they were issued with no rollover. So they couldn't be hoarded. It was use them or lose them.

The coupons had to be presented to the petrol station wherupon an assistant would fill the vehicle. There was no self service.

The petrol stations at this time were known as garages, and the petrol pumps were very different from those of today.

Petrol rationing immediately after WW2

In 1945, after the war finished, petrol for private use did become available, although it remained rationed until 1950. The coupons were of a new style. 

The coupons were not obviously date cancelled. They can be dated with a date stamp from the Ministry of Fuel and Power London Region that limited their validity. The first for 2 units is stamped 'Valid only for the four months ending 30 June 1946' and the second stamp for 3 units is identical apart from the date of 30 April 1948.

Petrol rationing in 1956/7

Petrol rationing was re-introduced for five months as a result of the Suez crisis of 1956, and again there is a new style as shown in the following pictures. The cover is date-stamped 28 July 1957.

Alfred Plews Petrol Coupon 1957
Meggisons Petrol Station & Garage
Meggisons Garage, West Burton

Photographs courtesy of Sally Stone.

© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time
© Thoralby Through Time

Photograph courtesy of Sally Stone.

Below is the complete identity register for Burton-cum-Walden.


E.D. Letter Code  JHAK               Borough, U.D. or R.D.  Aysgarth    Registration District and Sub-district  539/1

               Completed by me  ?  Enumerator   Date  Oct 2nd   

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