19 October 2011

Marriage anomaly

Every so often my old and rusty analyst screams to come out. It was Elizabeth Kipp that stirred it recently with comments on her blog about the relationship of marriages to war.

This graph shows the unique marriage statistics for England and Wales in FreeBMD year by year. Data only goes up to about 1950 so ignore anything after that.

The WW2 blips, once upon a time I'd have called them positive excursions, are pre-and early war 1939 and 1940. The WW1 blips, 1915 and 1919, are during and after the war. I can rationalize all but 1915 especially as the peak is in the last quarter of that year. Any explanation?


EricM said...

By the last quarter of 1915, WWI had lasted one year; the Battle of the Marne had brought to an end the war of movement that had dominated WWI since the beginning of August - instead, with the German advance brought to a halt, stalemate and trench warfare ensued; Paris had fallen to the Germans; Moscow appeared about to fall to the Germans, who already had taken the Balkans; the Italian fleet had entered the Atlantic Ocean seen as an apparent first step towards invading England.

Perhaps the 'Marriage anomaly' simply (and understandably) reflected a general 'it's the end of the world' feeling.

GW said...

The 1915 "blip" ... conscription was about to be imposed on British males in January 1916 ... perhaps this sent many of them scurrying to the altar to experience life before death.

JDR said...

It appears that married men were not subject to conscription in the same way as the single.

From www.1914-1918.net/,

"the Government introduced the Military Service Act on 27 January 1916. All voluntary enlistment was stopped. All British males were now deemed to have enlisted - that is, they were conscripted - if they were aged between 18 and 41 and resided in Great Britain (excluding Ireland) and were unmarried or a widower on 2 November 1915. Conscripted men were no longer given a choice of which service, regiment or unit they joined, although if a man preferred the navy it got priority to take him. This act was extended to married men on 25 May 1916."