Poppy Broach on green jumper

A day of Remembrance

This morning during our workshop at Edgbaston Community Centre, we observed a silence at 11am for Remembrance Day. It is 101 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War One, but also 101 years since those who were so affected by that war were first able to use their vote in the December 1918 General Election.

Prior to the war, only 2 in 5 men were able to vote – young men under 30 and working class men were excluded. So many were asked to shed their blood, but not to decide who governed them, who sent them to the battlefields, or who would make important decisions about their lives.

The Representation of the People Act aimed to ensure that all men over 21, and men over 19 with military service, could vote in General Elections. With mutiny in the air elsewhere in Europe, the government could ill afford to exclude so many returning soldiers. Whilst the Act is best remembered for giving the first women the vote, it’s so important to remember how recently the vote was won and the enormous efforts undertaken to rebuild Britain after four years of war.

Don’t forget, you only have until 26th November to Register to Vote if you haven’t already done so.