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The 1939 Register - exploring a world on the eve of war


Four worked with Findmypast in association with The National Archives to launch the 1939 Register. The Register, dubbed ‘The Wartime Domesday Book’ is the most comprehensive survey of the population of England and Wales ever taken.

We were delighted to gain the support of writer and broadcaster Andrew Marr for the project, who wrote a piece for the The Sunday Times the day before launch, contextualising the publication and explaining its significance. 

We worked closely with the Findmypast team to deliver media training, brief spokespeople, and interpret huge amounts of data, packaging it for the media.

Feature coverage appeared in print on the day of launch in The Daily Mail, The Independent, the i, The Sun and The London Evening Standard, with online pieces on the Telegraph and Daily Mirror.  Articles followed throughout the following week in a range of regional media.

Data experts were invited to view and interpret the data, leading to infographic packages in The Guardian, Trinity Mirror and Buzzfeed.

Coverage across national and regional print and online publications had a reach of nearly 15.5 million people, with an equivalent advertising spend of over £270,000.

One piece on MailOnline alone led to over 2,000 direct hits to the site, and 320 sales. 

Broadcast coverage included BBC Radio 4 The World Tonight and regional BBC programmes.

We helped to deliver a glamorous launch at the Café Royal attended by Andrew Marr, Dan Snow and Susannah Lipscomb.  ID cards were required on entry, hanky panky cocktails were served, a jazz band played, and a vintage photographer captured the moment before WWII would shake the country to its core…

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