Tracing the impossible?

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by daisy1942, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi all,

    My never ending search for my father in law's wartime service has taken new twists.

    A breakthrough at Christmas showed me his birth name(Dominic Cunningham Casey not Dominic Michael Stringer as previously thought) and his wedding certificate. Here it states, "gunner RA now on War Service". I have tried RA records and they do not show either name.

    I know he was at Singapore and escaped successfully, yet he never rejoined the RA. Am I being logical in thinking that he ought to have been registered either AWOL or as a deserter? Without any service number is there any way to trace this? I have tried MOD but with the information I have they are not being terribly helpful. I thought if there were lists of deserters I could research I might find a name that connects with his family. Suggestions gratefully received.
  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Do you know his date of birth? Name plus DOB is often enough for the MOD.

    Have you tried the FEPOW web site?
    daisy1942 likes this.
  3. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi SDP,

    Yes, ty FEPOW have been very helpful. A guy there called Jonathan Moffat was instrumental in a major breakthrough many years back. The MOD cannot find anything under either name, therefore I think he signed up under yet another name. He was something of a wild child it seems!
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Other names (witnesses) on the Wedding Certificate give any clues?
    daisy1942 likes this.
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Wifes name, date of marriage, copy of marriage certificate, as SDP says there will be witness's and maybe fathers names on both sides.
    Posting as much as you know and any documents might help


    How do you know his birth name is Dominic Cunningham Casey ??
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
    daisy1942 and Tony56 like this.
  6. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Closest I can get is a J Casey from Twickenham who was a Prisoner at Kinkaseki on Formosa.
    daisy1942 likes this.
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Can you provide details of your husband, his date of birth, copy of his birth certificate, his mothers name and dates, did his father witness your wedding certificate, etc etc

    Trying to work backwards using known facts

    daisy1942 and Tony56 like this.
  8. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Dad was never a POW! Other family details to follow
  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Are you saying that the all the 'facts' in your other post (birth & death dates, locations etc) about Dominic Michael Stringer can now be completely disregarded? Might be a good move to list everything you know to be certain about Dominic Cunningham Casey so that we can be clear on who you are looking for.

    You have his marriage certificate, so that is a fact, when and where was he married, what was his age/address/father? Perhaps post a copy so we can be clear.

    When and where was he born, grew up, died?

    None of the family history sites have anything for Dominic Cunningham Casey (not even a marriage) so you will have to provide some more facts to enable him to be found or you will be tracing the impossible.
  10. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Tricky,

    Thanks for your interest yet again.
    Briefly, I posted on a genealogy group over the New Year asking if anyone recognised this man and his story. A lady responded thinking that it was her Uncle, who had gone off to war but never returned (at least not until the mid 1950's when his wife had already had him declared dead under the 7 year missing rule) An exchange of information followed. The two men shared the same date of birth, lived in the same area of Glasgow, went to the same school, thins in the family and the mother of both died in childbirth. Family names were common too. We came to the conclusion that it was around a 80 - 90% probability they are the same man. As a side point it is possible that my husband has a half sister from this first marriage.
    Regarding known family, facts and details. Both Dominic's date of birth was 14/4/1922. Both father's were called John Patrick. We believed Dominic Michael's mother was called either Elizabeth or Martha. Dominic Cunningham's mother was called Martha her maiden name was Burt.
    I shall respond to Tony56 giving exact dates in a list to simplfy things. collating information will take an hour or so. In the meantime how do I upload photographs?
  11. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Your first post states "I know he was at Singapore and escaped", you now say "Dad was never a POW".

    As per my post above, please be clear in your reply what can be proved as facts and what are speculation or family hearsay.

    You can include a photo by using the 'upload a file' button.
    daisy1942 and Buteman like this.
  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    If we are talking Scotland then afraid I don't have access:
    Search results
  13. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    That is correct. Dad was at Singapore and escaped successfully. He was never a POW anywhere. Dad did give us limited information about his escape including the name of the boat. We have received copies of reports detailing the boat's escape from the National Archives Kew. The boat was a tiny water boat that supplied bigger ships at Singapore with fresh water. She was called Daisy. She had a sister ship called Heather who successfully escaped too.
    After his escape, Dad vanished for about 10 months. He reappeared in Trinidad in the West Indies. His ship went to Barbados for repairs where he met and married my husband's mother. We have this wedding certificate. A picture of Dad taken about 1943/44 in US uniform was taken to the US Embassy London and the photo was verified as US uniform. By May 1944 Dad was in Montreal where he joined a British Merchant ship and we have his merchant navy record card. This lists his movements until he was repatriated after the war.

    Thanks for telling me how to upload. Has the system changed? This is so much easier!

    29695360_1758047370921750_6421061913060897237_n.jpg Dad in US uniform.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  14. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi TD, SDP and Tony 56,

    I think this covers it!
    Much of the previous information I had on Dominic Michael Stringer is correct for Dominic Cunningham Casey:

    Dominic Michael Stringer was born on 14/4/1919 or 1922. He may have been born in Eire, but he grew up in Glasgow. He attended St Joseph’s Primary School in Raglan Street and claimed to have gone to St Aloysius College (we have never proved this). Dominic claimed to be one of twins and his mother had died in childbirth when he and the other twin were born. The other twin, a girl, died. We know from Dominic’s marriage certificate in Barbados that his father was called John Patrick. Dominic said he had been “in trouble” in Glasgow and his older brother “Jack” had helped him out of the city. He married in Bridgetown, Barbados on 30/1/1943. My husband was born 29/12/1943. Dominic did not witness our wedding certificate, as by that time he had split from my husband's mother. He died in Tower Hamlets London in November 1986.

    Dominic Cunningham Casey was born on 14/4/1922 in Muse Street, Glasgow to John Patrick Casey and Martha Burt. He attended St Joseph’s Primary School in Raglan Street. John and Martha married 21/1/1909 and had a total of 14 children, 9 of which did not survive to adulthood. This included twin girls. The last child that was born to John and Martha was named Michael. Martha died a fortnight after his birth and Michael did not survive to his first birthday. After Martha’s death, it appears that Dominic Cunningham Casey was raised by Martha’s brother James and his wife Margaret Curran. Dominic Cunningham Casey married Elizabeth Smith on 30/12/1940. They had a daughter Elizabeth born 17/9/1941 and the marriage was annulled in 1951, as he did not return to Glasgow after the war.

    However, Dominic Michael Stringer returned to Glasgow circa 1955/56. He met with his first wife (that must have been some shock!). He claimed that at that time he was working for the BBC and living in Canada and he would not disturb her life. We do know that about this time Dominic did apply to the BBC for work but did not get the job. We assume the time he spent in Montreal during the war gave him sufficient information to convince his wife Elizabeth that he had emigrated.

    My original request was for information on how to trace deserter or AWOL lists for Singapore. Any suggestions?
  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sorry I’m coming to this topic late in the day.

    Have you searched the Irish BMD records available via this site?

    Welcome to Irish Genealogy - Irish Genealogy

    In relation to AWOL files are you able to confirm that he was never reported “Missing In Action” after Singapore?

    Men weren’t reported confirmed POW until some time had passed - the reporting route in the official Casualty Lists was usually “Missing In Action” - “Believed POW” - “Confirmed POW” then in release “No Longer POW”.

    If he was initially reported MIA then there are various “Missing Men” files that are available for examination via U.K. National Archives - usually kept in Regimental Order.

    In relation to AWOL/Deserter Lists the main publication is the Police Gazette. I understand there may be copies in the British Library in London.

    Good Luck.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
    daisy1942 likes this.
  16. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Steve,

    No one is ever too late to this puzzle! I have been trying to crack this particular nut since the mid '80s. As you may have gathered Dad could tell a tale with the best of them.
    We have tried the Irish records without success, although it now seems any connection with Eire could be part of a false identity. He claimed he was born in Eire and his CRS10 from the latter stages of the war shows Eire as place of birth. When he was up before a naval court for thumping an officer, he appealed to Dublin citing Irish nationality.
    I must have a rummage at the British Library ty.
  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Need you to upload copies if the actual documents you have. We are still going around in circles until we can see the actual documents you have

    I can search Irish record through Ancestry, but not with the info you have provided so far, scan good readable copies and upload otherwise to be honest theres no point in trying to search for him as we cannot tie down any real facts, so far its all been heresay

    timuk, CL1 and Tony56 like this.
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The problem I [we] have is that this is your assumption and it may well be wrong therefore if we start trying to search on it we will be wrong as well. We need the factual documentary evidence you have so we can check if your assumptions are correct or not

    timuk and Tony56 like this.
  19. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    I shall upload images as ! find them. these show Dominic Cunningham Casey birth cert, his marriage cert, 2 court cases about Dominic Cunningham Casey's father reported in the press, his mother's death cert JPCasey13_feb_1904_JPG.jpg JohnPCasey12_feb_1904_JPG.jpg Thomas Burt Death Certt.jpg WELLANDOC.jpg and a picture of one of the two US ships on which Dominic Michael Stringer served.

    Attached Files:

  20. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    The 'birth certificate' you've posted is actually a second copy of the marriage register entry.

Share This Page