1939 news: Identity Card and number for all in war-time

The Orwell Diaries blog publishes entries from George Orwell’s diary daily, 70 years to the day since each entry was originally written. Also included are images of the newspaper articles he refers to. The entry for 17th August 1939 includes a copy of that’s day’s Daily Telegraph article describing preparations for the National Register which was introduced later that year, and finally abolished in 1952.

For a short, readable history of identity cards in the UK during the two World Wars, see Jon Agar’s 2005 article Identity cards in Britain: past experience and policy implications, published in the journal History and Policy.