University of Oxford
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69945: Shoemakers' ledgers

physical object
posted on 2023-12-07, 12:49 authored by Oxford At War Project Team

How do the ledgers from a shoemakers' shop relate to the First World War? One very poignant and thought-provoking answer can be found in the ledgers of the venerable Oxford shoemaker, Ducker & Son. When 'Duckers' recently closed, after trading for over a century, the Bodleian Libraries purchased some of the ledgers, a unique piece of history which provides a glimpse into the lives of the shop's clients. Amongst them are two brothers, Charles Edward and Ashley WN Ponsonby. They bought their shoes from Duckers and Son, and their purchases are listed under their names in the ledgers. For Charles, the older brother, the purchases start before the war and continue afterwards. For Ashley, however, the records stop after a last purchase - one pair of marching boots - dated September 23rd 1914. Ashley Ponsonby, a Captain in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, was killed in action on 8 September 1915 in the battle of Givenchy, aged 34. ------ The Ducker and Son ledgers for 1910-1963 have been purchased by the Bodleian Libraries. The ledgers have been catalogued and are now available for scholars to consult. The catalogue can be found online at:



Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

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Shoemakers' ledgers


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