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Old 17-07-21, 13:42
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Default Unusual Occupation

Looking at the 1939 register for a man and his wife finds her widowed and her occupation as housekeeper.

He is listed on the next line, as married, and his occupation is "lying dead".

It is not a weird job description either, he was a farm carter, or labourer, his whole life.
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Old 17-07-21, 16:57
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I wonder if hs widow ended up with a ration book for her dead husband, given information from the 1939 Register was used to issue these?

OH's ancestor was recorded on the 1841 census even though he was dead but not yet buried, but I think only his normal occupation was recorded, so it wasn't obvious until we got the death cert.
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Old 18-07-21, 04:11
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No idea. The occupation is in brackets and tiny letters after the lying dead. It's possible he died the day of registration, or wasn't buried. Did they keep the body at home back then? It's a bit creepy to me.
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Old 18-07-21, 06:55
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Well, my family didn't do that (keep the body at home), but I expect some people did, or the body would be embalmed and then brought back to the home to await the funeral. I did look to see if he wrote a will (for the date of death), but there wasn't an entry.
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Old 18-07-21, 07:45
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In my childhood, it was quite common for people to keep the dead at home in an open coffin in the front parlour so that people could come and pay their respects. Seems ghoulish now.

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Old 18-07-21, 08:00
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When my mum and her sister were small children (late 1920s) they were taken by their eccentric great aunt to view a dead body of one of aunt's neighbours. My gran was horrified by this and appeared at the house to reclaim her children! I can just imagine the scene. Mum used to tell me this was the only dead body she has ever seen.

My immediate family thought the whole issue of death should be swept under the carpet and that things that 'other people' do/did such as visit the undertakers to see the body, open caskets, burials rather than cremations, any sort of wake or event after the funeral etc etc were not for 'people like us'!!!
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