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False names and correcting the record

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Re: False names and correcting the record

Postby leslam » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:50 am

I've come to this conversation quite late, so apologies if this post isn't relevant at this point.
My great grandfather's death registration has been annotated with details of an affidavit sworn by two of his children. At some point before his death he had taken the name of a sibling of his wife, who had died in infancy. He undoubtably did it to avoid the authorities; the dead person would have been the same age as him.
I had no idea that this was the case until a certificate in the 'wrong' name arrived. It was a shock as I had ordered it under his correct name; I can only assume that the index was amended at some point.

My point is, that whilst his death certificate was annotated, the entry in the burial register and his gravestone are in the assumed name. The superintendent at the cemetery was very helpful via email (and somewhat amused by the whole story) and kindly located the entry and location of the grave for me.

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Re: False names and correcting the record

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:18 am

Gwil wrote:
Not so in the case of CWGC.


The CWGC's website is not an archive. It is intended to represent the current state of knowledge of the fallen so corrections can be made to this website without altering original records. On the other hand if you look at their archive of original documents from the 1920s and 1930s, we can be certain that the documents referring to the incorrect versions of your soldiers are still there - no doubt with some sort of link to the revision attached.

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Re: False names and correcting the record

Postby Gwil » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:04 am

AdrianB38 wrote:
The CWGC's website is not an archive.


The OP was about the CWGC Records. The thread is titled ' False names and correcting the record'

You said
AdrianB38 wrote:Archivists will be perfectly happy with the notion that records are incorrect. What they will justifiably refuse to do is alter incorrect records. The record is what the record is. That's the story - end of.


which sounds like a definite 'No, they wont' to me.
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Re: False names and correcting the record

Postby hassamal » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:08 pm

For those interested, this issue arose from my interest in the death of A J Shepheard, Private L/9033 East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), on 14 September 1916. Alfred John Shepheard was the son of my great grandfather's sister, Alice, and, according to Alfred's death certificate, he died aged 25 in the Kent and Canterbury Hospital as a result of being gassed (Bright's Disease); he is buried in Chatham Cemetery, Maidstone Road, Kent.

However, Alfred John Shepheard died in infancy on 20 August 1891 aged 6 months and was buried in St Nicholas' Church, Strood, Kent; he appears in the 1891 Census but in no further records until those recording his second death and burial in 1916. Unfortunately, no army service records for A J Shepheard have survived.

It seems to me probable that the real identity of Private L/9033 Alfred John Shepheard was a younger brother, Albert George Shepheard, who was born on 17 March 1892, appears on the 1901 Census, but thereafter disappears from the records; there is no record of a marriage. According to the Silver War Badge record for A J Shepheard, he enlisted on 14 December 1908, when Albert George would have been 16 years old and not yet old enough to join the Territorials. Alice Shepheard is recorded as the informant and mother on both the 1891 and 1916 death certificates and I think we can assume that both death certificates are for her sons, though an adopted son, Albert Victor Broughton, also of the East Kent Regiment, was killed in Belgium in 1915.

As a footnote, the three war medals issued posthumously in the name of A J Shepheard are in the collection of the National Army Museum. They were presumably issued to the parents, Alice and James Shepheard, though the Museum is not permitted to disclose the providence of the medals.

The identity of the occupant of the CWGC grave in Chatham remains a mystery.

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Re: False names and correcting the record

Postby hassamal » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:32 pm

leslam wrote:My great grandfather's death registration has been annotated with details of an affidavit sworn by two of his children. At some point before his death he had taken the name of a sibling of his wife, who had died in infancy.


This is an interesting case and one with parallels to mine, though in my case, the parents of the son who died in infancy maintained the deception, so there is no proof of the identity of the person who served and was buried in his name. Perhaps the parents feared the consequences of admitting the deception. It must have been hard visiting the grave.

While I can show who isn't buried in the grave, I can't show who is.

Andrew
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Re: False names and correcting the record

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:51 pm

Gwil wrote:The OP was about the CWGC Records. The thread is titled ' False names and correcting the record'


Indeed - but I was responding to a comment in middle about archivists.

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