Soldier 'alias' mystery

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by kippertrixie, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

    Hi everyone :)
    We are looking into a personal family mystery, that I can't go into, but it involves a man called
    Percy Leonard Gee (junior)
    We have found out that he ended up as a Japanese prisoner of war and died in the Takuri Camp on
    9th august 1945 aged 34, but on his memorial and in lists of people who have died etc it says
    Percy Leonard Gee served as L.BDR John Lawrence Smith, which is rather strange ,
    so wondered if anyone could tell if this is a common thing or if there is a reason for this ?
    details we already know,
    born 26th july 1911
    lived with parents in 1934 in Ingrow, Keighley (not there in 1935)
    was in 9th coast regt. Royal artillery, number 1426858
    captured 15th feb 1942
    many thanks
    Sim1 likes this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    many reasons
    Didnt want family to know he signed up
    escape form marriage
    on the run from the police

    Lance Bombardierv GEE, PERCY LEONARD

    Service Number 1426858

    Died 09/08/1945

    Aged 34

    9 Coast Regt.
    Royal Artillery

    Served as SMITH. Son of Percy Leonard and Agnes Gee, of Keighley, Yorkshire.

    ozzy16 and Tony56 like this.
  3. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

    I have found refs to his death but they state he was known as John Lawrence Smith which is what I was curious about :)
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  5. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    This may be the answer?
    Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 12.21.44.png
    Leeds Mercury 16th June 1928
    ozzy16, Owen, 4jonboy and 4 others like this.
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Im sure forum members will assist you more
    kippertrixie likes this.
  7. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

  8. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    I think there`s still something amiss here. If you input only his regimental number 1426858 into the findmypast search box amongst the results is his RA attestation still with J. L .Smith but with a date of 1923 ? (Or is it a typo for 1928?) Which if his date of birth is correct would make him 12 ??? Sorry I let my subscription lapse so cannot check.

    kippertrixie likes this.
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Input that service number into Ancestry - Military and
    UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: John Lawrence Smith
    Nationality: English
    Rank: Lance Bemberdier
    Birth Date: 26 Jul 1911
    Birth Place: Keighley Kerks, England
    Military Date: 15 Feb 1942
    Military Place: Singapore
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    Service Number: 1426858
    Source Description: 48: Japanese Index Cards of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees, World War II: Smith F-Spencer

    Name: J L Smith
    Rank: L/BDR
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Regiment: RA
    Service Number: 1426858
    Source Description: 2165: Prisoners of War, Far East: British Military Personnel, Singapore; Nominal Rolls

    Name: J L Smith
    Rank: L/B
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Service Number: 1426858
    Source Description: 2188: Prisoners of War, Far East: Royal Artillery; Nominal Roll, S-Z

    Name: John Lawrence Smith
    Rank: L/Bdr
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Service Branch: A
    Service Number: 1426858
    Source Description: 2172: Prisoners of War, Far East: Allied POW Camps in Thailand; Nominal Rolls

    There several other records

    I do not have Fold3 membership so cannot see the images attached

    ozzy16, kippertrixie and CL1 like this.
  10. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Well, his DoB ties in with age in court, so it may well be that he "signed up" shortly thereafter into the Army, aged 17.
    He may have been told that he would not be able to enlist with a "criminal" record, so chose an alias.
    Obviously in due course his true identity became known, so the link to his alias.

    Possibly enlisting kept him from turning to even worse crimes.
    I know my father said that joining the Army was the best thing he did, as otherwise living off his wits in 1930's Liverpool no doubt he would have got into trouble sooner or later.

    Perhaps there isa link with the "real" John Lawrence Smith? John Smith seems an obvious alias.
    As Percy and Leonard were also his father's names, perhaps the family had called him Larry, to tell them apart?
    Larry then became Lawrence when formally entered on his enlistment ......
    Does that seem a logical progression?
    SDP likes this.
  11. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

  12. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

    I have just been sent this today , along with another 2 from 1934,
    PLG is sentenced to 1 months hard labour for being caught with his mate in the back yard of a jewelers with rubber gloves, a jemmy, a knife and a notebook full of possible places to rob,
    He said it was as he needed money to get married
  13. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

    Looks like he was still at home in 1934 if you see my last post,
    would a criminal record affect him joining up for the war ?
  14. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    An observation if I may.

    He was clearly a 'bit of a lad' who nevertheless ended up doing his bit for King and Country. That has to be admired. What a pity that, along with thousands of others, he was 'put in the bag' at the Fall of Singapore and died just a few days before what would have been his Liberation in August 1945. RIP.
    Seroster, kippertrixie and CL1 like this.
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    You are correct, attestation transcription does say 1923. Unfortunately the record itself has no dates on it, even going to page 1 which may have been the introduction doesn't help. It does have 'Died 9.8.45' which of course ties up.
    CL1 likes this.
  16. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

    thank you for those kind words :) I never knew much about POWs so its been an eyeopener while doing this research !
    SDP likes this.
  17. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    He put his mother down as his cousin in the Changi Roll.

    Mike Smith, 9th Coast.JPG
  18. kippertrixie

    kippertrixie Member

    thanks for that :) all these little nuggets of information are brilliant :)
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    In the 1939 Register for 13 Cromer Ave

    Name: Percy L Gee
    Gender: Male
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 7 Nov 1884
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 13
    Residence Place: Keighley, Yorkshire (West Riding), England
    Occupation: spindle Flyer Forger
    Schedule Number: 301
    Sub Schedule Number: 1
    Enumeration District: KPCO
    Registration district: 492-2
    Inferred Spouse: Agnes Gee
    Inferred Children: Eileen Gee
    Household Members:
    Percy L Gee
    Agnes Gee
    Eileen Gee
    This record is officially closed.
    This record is officially closed.
    Mary Ackroyd

    Wondering if your man is one of the records still closed

    kippertrixie likes this.
  20. Sim1

    Sim1 New Member

    I've just come across this forum by accident.I realise that the Percy Leonard Gee you're asking about is my maternal grandfather. I researched my family records some years ago looking for any information or pictures of my grandfather but sadly I can't tell you any more than you already know, but reading your post has sparked anew interest.It was suggested that reenlisting under an alias would enable you to claim any grants and uniform again. Hope this helps.

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