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James Gaskin, 61st Battery Royal Field Artillery 4 months 3 weeks ago #84212

  • BereniceUK
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I think I've found James' birth record, but as James Gaskin only, no Joseph. If it's him, his birth was registered in the second quarter of 1868 in the West Derby and Toxteth Park registration district, his mother's maiden name being Price.

The army seems to have had an awful lot of men enlisting under a false name - "thousands" might be a press exaggeration, but who knows? - and there was no secret about some of them, judging by the press coverage of their letters home. What was the penalty for enlisting with a false name? I've not yet come across anyone being dismissed from the army during the ABW, even though some of them had attested to police courts before departing for South Africa.

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James Gaskin, 61st Battery Royal Field Artillery 4 months 3 weeks ago #84215

  • Smethwick
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Berenice - I could not find the registration of his birth and don't know his mother's maiden name. However, what you have found is compatible with the 18th March 1868 DoB I have given which was taken from the 1939 Register. As today, 6 weeks were allowed for the registration of a birth, so somebody born on 18th March can have had their birth registered in Q2. Sometimes people get an ancestor's year of birth wrong when they were born in the closing weeks of a year but not registered until Q1 the next year.

He is plain James on the 1871 & 1881 census returns, when he attests in 1889 and when he gets married in 1899. The Joseph first appears on the 1911 census return and when he attests in 1914 for service in WW1 and finally on his death certificate. The 1889 and 1914 attestations papers are definitely for the same man as when he is asked if he has ever served before he answers: Yes - 12 years in the RA and discharged time expired in 1902. Also Ancestry has both sets ascribed to the same man and included amongst them is the death certificate. So it appears probable that the Joseph was an affectation adopted between the Boer War & WW1.

I did make one mistake - his wife started out life as Charlotte Nutman rather than Charlotte Hutman - now corrected.
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