The Postal Museum collaborates with leading academics to analyse health of postal workers in Victorian and Edwardian times

The Postal Museum is delighted to support leading academics at King’s College London, Kingston University, University of Derby and University College London by opening up access to decades of employment records.

Photographs of the Archive, The Postal Museum

The Wellcome Trust recently awarded £759,145 for a new collaborative study on occupational health in the British Post Office during the Victorian and Edwardian period to a team led by Professor David Green of King’s College London. The three-year project, titled ‘Addressing Health: Morbidity, Mortality and Occupational Health in the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office’, will explore the timing and geography of ill health, and the responses of the Post Office and the workforce.

Professor David Green (King’s College London), Dr Douglas Brown (Kingston University), Dr Kathleen McIlvenna (University of Derby) and Professor Nicola Shelton (University College London) will work closely with The Postal Museum to examine the pension records and identify the health-related reasons for the retirement of approximately 30,000 workers.

The Post Office was a major British employer and identifying shifts in the health of its workforce will transform our understanding of wider patterns of morbidity and mortality during this important period of epidemiological change.

“This exciting project will have many benefits for a number of Postal Museum stakeholders as well as those interested in history more widely. It will augment our own knowledge of a key part of our archive, the pension records and make these more accessible. It will also involve our volunteer base and continue a long relationship of collaboration with academics”. – Gavin McGuffie, Senior Archivist


This will be the largest study of occupational health in the UK service sector in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.