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Remembered Today:

Capt James William Akerman RFA, is he for real?


corisande

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The men who signed up for the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary had to be ex-officers, and of 2000 men who joined, only a handful were not genuine ex-officers. This fellow, on whom I have enough information looks to me to be a fake, but I would be grateful if any reader can establish that he was real

 

1. He signed up as James William Akerman - in 3 documents with that spelling

 

2. He claimed to have been a Capt in RFA

 

3. He said he was born 25 Dec 1895 (yes, I know)

 

4. His medal claims were either (in different registers) DCM (which he does not appear to have earned) or DVR (in another register, which looks fishy)

 

5 A James William Akerman age 30, last place of residence Kilkenny, Ireland, turns up in Ellis Island , USA on 10 May 1922 on the Olympic

 

I cannot get him as an officer in RFA (nor in RAF which is sometimes a mistranscription in these register).

 

The closest I can get is a James William Akerman who was a Lt in Essex Yeomary in 1919, but he appears to have been born 21 Feb 1897

 

Akerman resigned from the ADRIC in Feb 1921 after 6 months service.

 

My feeling is that he was a fake, but I would be very happy if anyone can prove me wrong. Sometimes names change over time and I have missed it.

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Can't see a RFA man - the only officer of that name I can find seems to be the same as the one you did:

Capture.JPG

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252
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Craig

 

Thanks. He is the chap I have above in Essex Yeomanry, who was born 21 Feb 1897. There is quite a lot on him and he was never a Capt and never in RFA

 

When "my" Capt JW Akerman gets to Ellis Island, he is in fact travelling with 3 other ex-ADRIC ex-officers

Harold Charles Parsons, Robert Phillip Smith, and Mortimer Osmond Griffiths and they are going to Anderson's Ranch Durango, Mexico

It does not really seem to help me at all, only in that James William Akerman it is the name they knew him by, given he is still using it

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And this is a link to my page on James William Akerman (the page is a bit of a mess as I have struggled with his identity)  but there are links to the three others, though I don't think there is any connection other than being in ADRIC

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Thanks,

 

The problem is that I have to substantiate  who he was first, before I can see if either of those is him, as either could be.

 

Looking at his companions who went to Mexico with him, the chances are that he did return to UK eventually

 

And unless I can find someone who could be him as a Capt in RFA, then I have to assume he is a fake . If he is a fake, is James William Akerman his real name - it would seem that it was.

 

If he was really James William Akerman who was commissioned in Essex Yeomanry in 1918, then there would have been no need to lie and  say he was a  Capt in RFA in order to get into ADRIC, - his commission in Essex Yeomany would have got him in on its own strength

 

In which case he is  probably an OR who wanted into the ADRIC to get the money, but before I go down that route, I am trying to eliminate the Capt in the RFA. If we cannot find him on this forum, then he certainly does not exist.

 

Dick Flory may well have an opinion when he passes by this thread

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This looks like your man Akerman James William Mar 1897 4a 374 W Ham, which comes up on FreeBMD as Essex, so birth date 21st Feb 1897 could well be correct.

Den

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One of the FMP documents is transcribed as 75065 Lt. J.W. Walter Ackerman so searching with a 'c' in the name might get some other options?

 

Note Lt not Capt.

 

Mark

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5 minutes ago, kildaremark said:

One of the FMP documents is transcribed as 75065 Lt. J.W. Walter Ackerman so searching with a 'c' in the name might get some other options?

 

Note Lt not Capt.

 

Mark

 

J W Walter Ackerman?

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Mark

 

Thanks. I have tried my searches using wild cards but without any discernible success. As you know those transcriptions of names can be a bit rough and ready - i.e. what an Irishman writes down as his understanding of an English (English transcriptions work the other way too)

 

75065 is Walter Ackerman , and he is a Temp Constable rather than a T/Cadet

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Dai  Bach

 

The enlistment numbers are the Royal Irish Constabulary numbers. Most are a handwritten scrawl, so are subject to the vagaries of FmP transcribers. I am satisfied the Walter Ackerman is nothing to do with "my" man who was 72182

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Also,

 

The OR portion of the Essex Yeomanry JW Akerman service record is on FMP. Father is listed as WR Akerman, Walhamstow (?). To England on 11/11/1917 for temp commission.

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Hello, I don't know if you already are part of it, but the Irish constabulary forum was a supurb help in finding out about my RIC Grandfather. Maybe they could trace him, get his DOB and records? Chris

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Thanks, but I have his DOB and RIC records.

 

What I am trying to establish is whether he actually was a Commissioned Officer in the RFA, In other words I am trying to check whether what he told the RIC about his CV is true or not

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The Yeomanry was restructured in 1920. The Essex Yeomanry became a Royal Artillery unit* when the TA formed in 1920. It is possible that the Essex Yeomanry candidate did serves as an RFA (TA) Officer in 1920 shortly before joining the ADRIC.....

 

*  104th (Essex Yeomanry) Brigade Royal Field Artillery (TA)

Edited by Guest
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Thanks interesting, I didn't know that :-) I will see if I can uncover anything by pursuing that line

 

The Dobs are still different for the two men, but that could be transcription

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15 minutes ago, corisande said:

Thanks interesting, I didn't know that :-) I will see if I can uncover anything by pursuing that line

 

The Dobs are still different for the two men, but that could be transcription

 The Army Lists are all now freely available online. It should be easy to track. National Library of Scotland.

 

Dec 1919.....the TA was formed two months later.

 

EY.jpg

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Corisande- Greetings-  You must already have this but I put it up anyway-

Reference: WO 374/658
Description:

2/Lieutenant James William AKERMAN.

Essex Yeomanry.

Date: 1914-1920
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department 706
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

 

      I have to go to Kew this week to run some errands and would be quite happy to look out the file for this Akerman for you and report anything of interest. There is also a reference to a divorce case for someone of that name from the 1930s-If that intrigues you, I can get that out as well. Please let me know

    I got told off on this Forum for asking a question about the Tans-a bit of folklore that an old Irish friend told me (He is from Roscommon)-that the original William Hill -of the bookies- was a Tan,which is why no true Irishman would ever place a bet(Yes, I know- someone Irish placing a bet on the GGs is a rarity) with that firm-Seems unlikely as that William Hill was only born in 1903.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the offer. I would be really grateful  if you could check that file, don't worry about the divorce.

 

Basically it is to see if he had any connection/promotion in RFA that could justify a Capt claim

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Thanks. I am going though the Nat Lib Scotland Army Lists that you put me onto, bit slow going as my Internet connection is a bit dodgy today

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On 14/12/2016 at 02:12, corisande said:

Thanks. I am going though the Nat Lib Scotland Army Lists that you put me onto, bit slow going as my Internet connection is a bit dodgy today

 It stops in Dec 1919...

 

Try the London Gazette. He was made up to Lt in Jan 1920. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31887/supplement/5201

 

I cant see any other entries for Ackerman between 1920 and 1922....the limit factor of course is the the LG is searching OCR so there is a remote possibility his name was not scanned perfectly...

 

Not sure if the Officers would have to be discharged from their Commissions or whether they could be seconded to the ADRIC...

 

MG

 

 

 

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-a bit of folklore that an old Irish friend told me (He is from Roscommon)-that the original William Hill -of the bookies- was a Tan,which is why no true Irishman would ever place a bet(Yes, I know- someone Irish placing a bet on the GGs is a rarity) with that firm-Seems unlikely as that William Hill was only born in 1903.

 

From Encyclopaedia Britannica Wikipedia:

 

William Hill (16 July 1903 – 15 October 1971) was the founder of William Hill, one of the United Kingdom's largest firms of bookmakers.

Born in Birmingham, Hill left school at the age of twelve to work on his uncle's farm.[1] While working in a factory in Birmingham he started collecting illegal bets from local people on his motorcycle.[1] In 1919, Hill joined the Black and Tans while underage and was stationed in Mallow, County Cork, Ireland.[2] He set up as an on-course bookmaker in 1925 but quickly lost his capital.

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In the remote chance you don't already have this:

 

His Service records show attestation on 7th Dec Dec 1914 with the Reserve Essex Yeomanry No. 1666  (2/1Essex Yeomanry) which conflicts with the MIC which states Essex Regt...although a later doc seems to show No. 34080 Essex Regt before being transferred to the R Warwicks.

 

Reported a deserter on 30th Oct 1915. Seems an odd thing for someone later picked up for a Commission. 

 

To France 29th Dec 1916.  9th Bn R Warwicks No. (I think). Went to the Front on 10th Jan 1917. Injury Apr 1917. Tranferred to 1st Bn. 

 

He was 6' 2" which was exceptionally tall in 1914 and may provide a reference point when comparing to other records. 

 

All in all a mixed bag. MG

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   Contents of  officers file at Kew are below:   Does seem to tie in somehow with his OR service records- just- but service record with Essex Yeomanry/Royal Warwicks doesnt smell right. Possible that he was on "other duties" but carried on other regimental lists???

     The James William Akerman born Hackney and died in Southend is another person of the same name, not the one from Walthamstow-even though only 2 miles apart.

     Reconstruction of Essex Yeomanry postwar means that it is quite possible he was RFA-it was his third choice of unit-so if first (EY) had gone-and second (MGC) then quite possible he is notionally RFA. Personally, I doubt if he served any real time with either EY or R.Warwicks after March/April 1917 (when injured?)- up to then seems correct, and suspect his service as a "funny" in Ireland may predate his listings in the Tans.

     No mention of awards, noir in Gazette between 1919 and 1923. But is it possible that gallantry awards for service in Ireland were not gazetted in the normal way????

 

   JAMES WILLIAM AKERMAN- SERVICE FILE TNA

 

 

born 25thDecember 1896, Walthamstow

Educated St. Savious School, Walthamstow and ClarksCollege, Stamford Hill.

 

Enlisted 7th December 1914.

 

Served (at time of commission application) with D Coy., Ist Royal Warwicks.

 

Applied to be commissioned in the Rough Riders or Motor Transport

 

Confidential report on suitability to be officer by  C.L.Hodgson, 23 Officer Cadet Unit, Catterick, 2nd July 1918.

     Listed as 33078  Essex Yeomanry.?

     Home 26 months

     Overseas 18 months

     Wounded twice

Standard of Education-Fair

Military Knowledge-Very Fair

Power of Command and  Leadership-Very Fair

   Preferences as to commission:

1)    Essex Yeomanry

2)    Machine Gun Corps

3)    Royal Field Artillery

 

Promoted Lt from 2Lt 31st January 1920 (See Gazette 4th May 1920)

 

Disembodied 15th April 1919.

 

 

Please note:

1)    Officers file was weeded of 2 categories of records in 1960,according to the front sheet. Then closed

2)    Mention of RFA as preference in confidential officer assessment is only mention of RFA

3)    Commission application ,1918 where it says- “Theatre of War Served” appears to say “Irish”

4)    If he was disembodied April 1919, then why is he being promoted Lt in 1920?

5)    No date of transfer from Royal Warwickshire to Essex Yeomanry

6)    London Gazette entry for 4th May 1920 I correct- lists him a a 2LT to LT with Essex Yeomanry

 

 

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