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Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:15 pm

titch wrote:... I apologise for using the word "Imposter", as I meant alias.

And I hope you don't take amiss my raising as a concern - but I wasn't sure whether you simply grasped for a word and got an iffy one, or what. The problem for me is that when people mis-use a word, even accidentally, that has a legal or quasi-legal meaning, it can be taken to imply that someone was guilty of doing someone down and no-one did anything about it.

Private 9th Lancers, The Barracks Canterbury

So he's definitely claiming to be a soldier in the Army there.

Father is James Purcell (Deceased) - of independent means.

Add this to 4 witnesses and this is giving the impression of a slightly higher class of wedding to me. Or he's trying to give that impression!

Both said that the uniform had no insignia and believed the jacket was a "prop" used on stage or for photos

This one is quite telling to me - no insignia? At a point when most soldiers would be "bulling up" to have a photo taken?

... grooms with the regiment were never civilians but always military personnel

So that knocks out my suggestion. Fair enough!

Also the Regiment arrived from South Africa in December 1910, and Joseph was not on the Campaign medals list, so he was not in SA

Not sure I understand the logic here - there were two SA campaign medals - the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal. The latter was awarded for operations in SA 1901-1902, while the QSA covered 1899-1902. After the end of the 2nd Boer War, the 9th would have been losing soldiers steadily as they came to the end of their time. And unless the regiment was virtually non-existent after 8y, there would have been replacements shipped out - so JP could have been with the 9th after 1902.

Nonetheless, if he's a labourer in 1913, there's getting to be a very short window in which someone could serve his seven years in uniform with the Army (12y in total - 7 in uniform, 5 in civilian life liable to call-up again in the event of war). Too early and he'd be in the QSA / KSA rolls. Too late and he'd get called up again for WW1 service - though if he's disappeared over the horizon, no chance there.

So with all the dodgy timing, and the odd photo, I'm inclined to believe that somewhere there are untruths being told. So unless a link can be found between Joseph Purcell and his father James, in a census somewhere or on IrishGenealogy.ie, then it's a lot like a needle in a haystack.
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby MoVidger » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:20 pm

Adrian - see my post above yours. I may have found the two witnesses, or at least one of them.
I think our posts crossed each other. :)
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:28 pm

Oh isn't Mr Tranmere interesting!
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby MoVidger » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:43 pm

First name(s) John Wm
Last name Tranmere
Age 24
Birth year 1885
Service number 311234
Regiment Royal Tank Corps
Attestation year 1909
Enlistment date 28 May 1909
Birth parish Holy Trinity
Birth town Bradford
Birth county Yorkshire
Birth country England
Tank corps number 311234
Previous regiment Lancers
Record set Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records, 1919-1934
Category Military, armed forces & conflict
Subcategory Regimental & Service Records
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby MoVidger » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:07 pm

War Memorials Register (on Find My Past)

First name(s) J F
Last name Purcell

Sex Male
Age -
Birth year -
Service number -
Death year 1914-18
Event date -
Death and burial details -
Primary service (IWM reference) Service: Unknown
Primary service as stated on memorial Service: Not Stated on Memorial
Memorial Chartham (WMR 16379) Chartham Kent
Place Kent
County Kent
Country England
War First World War (1914-1918)
Record set War Memorials Register
Category Military, armed forces & conflict
Subcategory First World War
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:08 pm

You beat me to JW Tranmere, Maureen, and went past me. I'd only got as far as estimating his enlistment date, based on his number - glad to say that I was in the right ball-park, but you got the exact answer. (Even when guys serve after the 1920 cut-off and their records remain with the MoD, there might be a chance of getting some precious info, as here)

Important to realise that JWT is simply someone who knew Joseph Purcell - and maybe provided the inspiration for his story (if it is a fib) of him being in the Lancers.
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby MoVidger » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:11 pm

Adrian - what do you make of my War Memorials Register post above yours?
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:28 pm

No indication there what sort of a memorial the Chartham one is - memorial to those who served or to those who died? Though the presence of a Death Year item suggests the latter...

The only J F Purcell who I can see in the CWGC data is
Private PURCELL, JOHN F.
Service Number 25708
Died 21/03/1918
7th (South Irish Horsc) Bn.
Royal Irish Regiment


According to FMP's copy of Soldiers Died In The Great War 1914-1919, he was resident Dublin, enlisted Galway. No real reason why that should be the one on Chartham... In any case, this one is a "John".
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby MoVidger » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:39 pm

Here's the website link. It appears the JF Purcell on the Chartham memorial was with the Royal Navy. What a coincidence with the name, and location being Chartham. :o

http://www.fadedgenes.co.uk/CharthamMemorial.html
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Re: Joseph Purcell m Oct 1911 Canterbury Kent - imposter?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:54 pm

Ah. So a dead end. Possibly he is just J on the CWGC site, accounting for why I didn't spot him there.

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