Author Topic: Reasons for disappearing after army desertion  (Read 335 times)

Offline kerryb

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Reasons for disappearing after army desertion
« on: Monday 05 February 18 15:52 GMT (UK) »
Hi

I have an interesting one here.  A friend asked me to do a bit of research into one of her ancestors who deserted the British Army in 1905.  He resurfaces a year later with a different name and for the rest of his life, he died in 1962, he is known by a different name.  The family have evidence to show it is the same person.

The question she asked me was could I find the reason for his change of name and as far as I can see there is no other reason but for the desertion.  A quick google, brings up other instances of the same thing happening and that is what my instinct is telling me, to avoid court martial and whatever punishment might come, he changed his name.

My question is has anyone seen a book or any other written record about deserters changing their name that I can send her to?

Thank you

Kerryb
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Offline StanleysChesterton

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Re: Reasons for disappearing after army desertion
« Reply #1 on: Monday 05 February 18 16:56 GMT (UK) »
They did one of these on the telly, Who Do You Think You Are, Alan Carr.

He'd deserted, moved away a little bit, reinvented himself - and they couldn't undesert, so had to remain hidden.... you'd still be arrested/jailed years later for desertion and it'd cause no end of problems without any means to support a family and possibly the family would then have to immediately move out as locals who lost somebody might target them for violence/disharmony. 

Once you've got away with it, you've already got established with your new name, so don't rock the boat.

Alan Carr episode: http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2011/09/15/who-do-you-think-you-are-alan-carr-tracks-a-deserter/
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Offline kerryb

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Re: Reasons for disappearing after army desertion
« Reply #2 on: Monday 05 February 18 19:33 GMT (UK) »
Thank you

I remember that episode of WDYTYA and shall read the blog.

Kerry
Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Searching for my family - Baldwin - Sussex, Middlesex, Cork, Pilbeam - Sussex, Harmer - Sussex, Terry - Surrey, Kent, Rhoades - Lincs, Roffey - Surrey, Traies - Devon & Middlesex & many many more to be found on my website ....