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Age discrepancy on army records

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Age discrepancy on army records

Postby lottie's mum » Mon May 20, 2013 5:59 pm

Does anybody have any ideas why somebody might make themselves younger on army registration? My ancestor makes himself 19.
His baptism on 7/7/1886 and corresponding birth registration J/A/S 1886 St Saviours Southwark.
His army registration on 25th January 1909 gives his age as 19 years 2 months and born in Southwark meaning he was born in November 1889. This seems a very exact age but I haven't been able to find a birth to correspond to this (for either a Harry or Henry)
He was discharged in 1917 and married in October the same year - his age is shown as 31 which corresponds with the birth records I've found for 1886 (and the 1891 and 1911 census - although the 1911 he is with the army in India so would the regiment have provided the information?) A possible 1901 census record also corresponds with this.
He died on 11/8/1930 and his age on his death certificate and obituary is shown as 41 which corresponds with a 1889 birth (but born before August 11th and not in November).

His name on baptism and birth registration and army registration and 1891 and 1911 census is Harry Drew.
His name on his Marriage and death certificates and possible 1901 census is Henry Drew.

I surmise that he probably thought his real name was Henry but known as Harry which would explain the marriage and his wife thinking he was Henry. The family always thought he was Henry, maybe for the same reason.

Intrigued as to why he would give a seemingly ficticious birth on his army registration - any thoughts?
lottie's mum
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Re: Age discrepancy on army records

Postby Sylcec » Mon May 20, 2013 10:01 pm

No idea. It is sometimes the case that young men/boys put their ages up when joining under age, or occasionally a much older man may put his age down; but in Henry/Harry's case can see no reason why he wouldn't have given his true age. Maybe the regiment were only looking for men between certain ages at the time he joined.
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Re: Age discrepancy on army records

Postby lottie's mum » Wed May 22, 2013 9:26 pm

Thanks, that's a thought. This family is proving very difficult to work out, keep going 1 step forward and 2 back !! Looking forward to the day that I can post to say I've got the better of them.
lottie's mum
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:53 am

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