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Remembered Today:

Private William Cunningham 24th Bn Royal Fusiliers


andrew pugh
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Good Afternoon All.

I'm lost, can anyone help. I have been researching 4 Royal Fusiliers all belonging to the 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers City of London Regiment, who were all killed on the 24/03/1918. One of them Private William Cunningham I am struggling with but I will plod on. However I have just looked at the UK Army Register of British soldiers Effects and it states that he had an Alias, Claud Oakley, but the moneys that he was owed was payed to a woman called Emma Oakley.I expected the army pay to be payed to a family member with the surname of Cunningham. On the register his name is clearly William Cunningham and the recipient was called Emma Oakley. Which name is correct? Hope someone can help. He left £10-16-6 to whoever his family member was.

Regards Andy

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Have you found him on a census? It may show her as mother or sister.

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Good Evening All.

Thanks for responding.What I cannot understand if Cunningham was his real surname and his grandmothers surname was Oakley the why did he use the alias name of Claud Oakley?It seems rather strange.William Cunningham lived in Loughborough but enlisted in Norwich. The search goes on.

Regards Andy

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Good Evening All.

Thanks for responding.What I cannot understand if Cunningham was his real surname and his grandmothers surname was Oakley the why did he use the alias name of Claud Oakley?It seems rather strange.William Cunningham lived in Loughborough but enlisted in Norwich. The search goes on.

Regards Andy

Hi Andy,

In my research I have come across a few examples of soldiers that did not use their "real name", so to speak. In one case, a soldier enlisted, was rejected because of his age, and then re-enlisted with the Sportsman's Battalion under a different name. I can provide some documentation if you are interested. In another more famous case, a soldier enlisted in the 24th RF under a fake name in order to hide the fact that he was descended from Germans. Whatever the reason for your chap, it seems there are precedents.

Regards,

William

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  • 1 month later...

Good Evening All

I have been researching a soldier called William Cunninghham of the 24th Bn Royal Fusiliers kia 24/03/18 and noticed that on the Ancestry Soldiers Effects that he had an alias name of Claud Oakley.which name would be the right one because he left his army pay money to his Grandmother whose name is also Oakley.

Regards Andy

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CWGC refer to him as William Cunningham.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/746432/CUNNINGHAM,%20WILLIAM

SDGW has him as resident in Leicester

I suggest the answer will be found on the Census forms. The problem with this is that I need more info to make it possible to nail him down on the census.

Andy,

Do you have any more family detail for him? - stuff like D.O.B., Parents and siblings names, Grandmother's full name and address details? Anything you have may seem trivial but could provide the key to unlocking the mystery.

Cheers,

Mike

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How should we read alias, real name Cunningham, alias Oakley or real name Oakley alias Cunningham?

Just because his grandmother was named Oakley does not mean that his real surname was Oakley.

More info is needed re parents, brothers sisters and where he was from.

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Oakley.which name would be the right one because he left his army pay money to his Grandmother whose name is also Oakley.

Unless it was his maternal grandmother, and he had adopted his mother's maiden name as an alias?

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Something to think on with the alias Andy, my Gt Uncle was discharged "Unlikely to make an efficient Soldier" in 1914 from the Cameronians, he re-enlisted this time in the RMLI and used his Mothers maiden name, this maybe the same scenario, could Grandmothers surname = Mothers maiden name = re-enlistment after discharge?

Maybe a consideration.

Sam

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Hi Johnboy,

I'd hope so, but to alert other Forum members to the information in the other topic, perhaps I should have better said "duplicate".

IPT - the other thing that crossed my mind was that he may have been born out of wedlock, and that his mother subsequently married a Cunningham. Though that doesn't explain the difference in the first name used.

Regards

Chris

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This previous thread mentions that he was resident in Loughborough, which does not come from SDGW, so hopefully Andy will have more info he can give us. Until then I am reluctantly putting my spade back in the shed.

Cheers,

Mike

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Hi Andy,

The place of enlistment either may or may not be pertinent. I will not know until more info comes to light. One thing however, having searched the 1911 Census, there seems to only have been one Claud Oakley in the country - and it is not your man. The one on the census was born Knightsbridge and resident in Mitcham. There are also only 3 that spell the Christian name "CLAUDE" - and they are not your man either.

All this would seem to point to your man actually being William Cunningham with the Oakley identity being an alias.

Interestingly, there is an Emma Oakley on the 1911 Census who was born in 1838 (ish) and living in an institution at Evington, Leicestershire. She is described as a "patient" in the "Leicestershire Poor Law Infirmary" and married. Her former occupation is given as "Thouthby Nurse". She may well not be the "right" Emma Oakley, but that needs more census digging in earlier years.

Cheers,

Mike

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In the 1901 census for Needham, Norfolk though there is a 4 year old Claude C Oakley (born Needham) living with his parents George (age 31, born East Harling, Norfolk) and mother. In the 1881 census George E Oakley (age 10, born East Harling) is living with parents George and Emma. I haven't though established any link with Leicester, or the surname Cunningham.

Regards

Chris

PS I think that the occupation of "Thouthby Nurse" for the Emma that Dave found in the post above is one of those Ancestry mis-transcriptions and should be "Monthly Nurse" - a woman that spent a couple of weeks/months living with a family shortly after the birth of a child (presumably usually engaged on a month by month basis)

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Hi Chris,

You are probably right, I had assumed that Thouthby was a placename! I hate to admit it but, even at my age, nurses are not my speciality.

As for "the Emma that Dave found" - made me remember Trigger and laugh out loud. Do you remember his reasoning? on the subject of a name for Del's unborn child?

"If it's a boy they are going to call him Rodney, after Dave" :-)

Cheers,

Mike

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Hi Mike,

To be fair I don't know anything about nurses, but I saw on a census that one of my relatives was a "monthly nurse" so I just Googled it.

Cheers

Chris

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