Australian Aliases in WW1

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    There was a study done in the AIF - by a Lt Col Neil Smith where he found 3000 aliases were used in the Australian forces during WW1 !

    I wonder if anybody has done a study on any other of the forces ?

    Would 3000 be a lot do you think ?

    Annie :)
  2. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Noticed quite a lot of those doing my research for ww1 Flying Corps deaths.
  3. This occured also in the Canadian Army.
    On the Canadian memorial at Vimy one can sometimes read double names, like:
    "G.S. Hodkinson served as P. Childs".
    The phrase "served as" indicates the soldier's real name . Canada was a place for escape, a safe haven,
    and a place to hide. Soldiers were using other names also to enlist for several other reasons ( age, etc.).
  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Australia and Canada seemed to be the places to go .. to try and get out of serving .... but then many many soldiers changed their minds ( or had their minds changed for them !! )

    I agree with the Lt Col ...... I think it's fair to say that a soldier who enlisted under another name had something to hide from someone. ........ there may not have been anything unlawful the soldier felt he needed to conceal - but the reason really boils down to one of two motivating needs ...... firstly the perceived requirements to avoid revealing his true identity from the authorities because of some militarily unacceptable reason or secondly - to conceal his military service for a domestic or social reason

    Mostly reasons given for using an alias such as deserting ship while in the Royal Navy - where to cover up being too young or old - to conceal enlistment from a spouse etc !!

    I had a relative who went to Australia with the Navy ... jumped ship ..... married bigamously ..... but then thought better of it and joined the Australian Army !! :rolleyes:

    Annie :)
  5. spof

    spof New Member

    I've found a service record of an English emigrant to Australia who signed up in 1914 but his service record states "Discharged at his wife's request" :eek:

    She later wrote a letter consenting for him to join up (there's no more info on the online record) but I bet that household must have been a scene a domestic bliss for a few months....or perhaps not!

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