Civilian Subordinates

New Acquisition

9th June 2017

The Tank Museum’s Archive has recently acquired a rare Inter-war ledger. 

Titled ‘Record of Service Book- Civilian Subordinates’ this document contains handwritten details of civilian workers at Bovington Camp between August 1924 and June 1931. 

Civilian LedgerDetails include name, date of birth, previous service or occupations, address and pay giving us a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the camp. Predominantly local, most workers herald from Wareham, Wool, Weymouth, Blandford and Portland, though one devoted labourer travelled down from Glasgow. 

Tradesmen seemed to work on a casual basis, resulting in a high turnover rate for Plumbers, Electricians, Bricklayers, Painters and General Labour. However, there are limited numbers of individuals who remained for significant periods of time and received a gratuity for their services. One such was 49 year-old W Hawkin of Lulworth, who received £23.10.8 gratuity for his eight years and one month of carpentry services between 14th February 1919 and 24th March 1927.

As the ledger is handwritten it is interesting to watch the style of writing and ink alter throughout the document on a regular basis, as different authors add different levels of detail such as mathematic calculations and marital status. A limited number of authors even chose to record which regiment an ex-soldier’s served in with examples ranging from Poole Corps, Dorset Regiment, Royal Engineers and the Royal Tank Corps.  

The most interesting of these annotation examples is a large sheet of paper glued below R H G Right of Parkstone’s entry. A painter who left of his own accord, the note reads that Right was committed for theft on the 9th February 1928 and was “not to be again employed”[!]