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Remembered Today:

Did this soldier come back from the dead?


corisande
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Who is the man who joined the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1920 as  "Henry John F Hagg"  with a claimed birth on 24 Nov 1899 ? We are using an unusual Surname here, with three initials, it seems to point to just one man

He seems to be "Henry John Fishwick Hagg" whom I can follow from birth (Oct/Dec 1899) in London (BMD, 1901 and 1911 census) to death in France (Soldiers Effects,, Pension Card and CWGC). I have the censuses, and post only his death reports

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So that is his death in 1918, but then he apparently joins the RIC on 12 Nov 1920

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and leaves 26 Jan 1922 when RIC is disbanded

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He then disappears off the face of the earth , and is never heard of again

 

To me the most probable explanation is that someone, a younger brother maybe, used his name as an alias to join the RIC , maybe because they were too young

An Ancestry tree shows he had brothers

  • William Garfield Hagg b1902
  • Robert Percy Hagg b1905

Robert Percy Hagg would never have got into the RIC as he would only have been 16. It could have been him, but I don't see how I could prove that he was using his dead brother's details

The explanation that HJF Hagg somehow survived and was not killed in 1918 does not stand up. His mother got a pension (card exists) , and there are no documents showing him after he leaves the RIC in 1922

 

Have I missed something here, and perhaps there is a logical explanation for events

 

 

 

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Your theory sounds logical.  I note there is no body as he is remembered by the  CWGC on a memorial only.

Have you looked at the war diary to understand the action the Bn was in?  Might not tell you much but it may give a picture, especially as to why no body was recovered. 

 

 

 

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Another angle might be newspaper obits for rfn. Hagg. They sometimes contain accounts relating to the circumstances of death.

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2 hours ago, Medaler said:

Another angle might be newspaper obits for rfn. Hagg. They sometimes contain accounts relating to the circumstances of death.

There is nothing in the press, but even if there were, then I do not think it would help. I don't think there is much doubt that he was KIA - CWGC, Soldiers Effects, mother getting pension.

It is weird to me that a brother might use a dead brother's details to join the RIC, but I am probably looking at that with today's morals

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10 hours ago, corisande said:

It is weird to me that a brother might use a dead brother's details to join the RIC,

Yes it is odd.

Doesn't it look more like identity theft a la 'Day of the Jackal'?

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Bottom like is that I no idea, and do not seem to be able to find out who the man that joined the RIC really was

"Day of the Jackal" was sophisticated, trolling graveyards to find the right sort of identity. But as you say that could have a parallel here

It is possible that the man that joined the RIC trolled CWGC to fine a suitable man to "be". It could have been a fellow soldier who knew the dead man's details, it could have been a neighbour, it could have been a relative, basically it could have been anybody

I still think that the most likely person was his 16 year old brother.

I have done literally thousands of CVs of ex-soldiers who joined the RIC, and never come across this sort of example before. So it was rare, but there could have been others that say used an older brothers details, but the older brother was still alive, so I would never have picked up the "identity theft".

The research I have done on men working in Intelligence in Ireland has made me wary. So it could have been a government switch to infiltrate a man into the RIC (they put in a number of such agents, but are usually quite easy to spot)

By putting it on the forum, I was flying a kite to see if anyone could spot something (maybe obvious) that I had missed.

I probably have to write this man off as "I will never know who he was"

 

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14 hours ago, corisande said:

I don't think there is much doubt that he was KIA - CWGC, Soldiers Effects, mother getting pension.

I know at least one case where that all happened and the man was alive as a deserter and back home with the family (he was eventually caught by the MoP).

Craig

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Again possible, but IMO, not probable in this case.

Certainly if he did reappear, he made a thorough job of not appearing in any further UK records under his own name

If it was someone in his family, there is the remote chance that someone doing genealogy comes across my site and contacts me. I have had a few breakthroughs this way.

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That's a thought , perhaps @ss002d6252 can help

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There appears to be a second RIC entry for the man - FMP have indexed the other record as being created in 1867 with the same badge number of 75440.

So if he was then a Temporary Constable in 1867 it couldn't be the man born 1899 / 1900.

Then again it could be a case of poor indexing.

Images courtesy FMP

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It is in fact nothing to do with 1865. All RIC recruits in the Black and Tan era have been indexed that way . I have no idea why

The chaps dob is correctly recorded, its just the file name that is wrong

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2 minutes ago, corisande said:

It is in fact nothing to do with 1865. All RIC recruits in the Black and Tan era have been indexed that way . I have no idea why

The chaps dob is correctly recorded, its just the file name that is wrong

I had my doubts, thanks for clearing that up.

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The RIC were keen to get recruits, and did not delve too deeply into what men wrote on their application form. They took a bit more trouble with checks on ex officer ADRIC recruits

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He was apparently called as a witness for the defence of two fellow constables being tried for a robbery / murder - strangely the Court Martial record does not appear to have recorded any testimony from him or at least nothing that I can find.

(Image courtesy FMP) https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record/browse?id=ire%2fwo35%2f131%2f00598

image.png

 

Did his brother ever work in the fur trade (earlier post re HJF's occupation)?

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Thanks for that. I never found it, butr it will keep be busy for hours to check it out.

The British Courts Martial in Ireland tended to be somewhat "basic" and the witnessess that should have been called tended not to be called. If it was really bad, the GOC would make a note on it when the results of the CM reached him for approval

I will check out the fur trade clue as well

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The murder trial is somewhat complex but is summed up in this extract

Hagg was not called as a witness, so does not feature in the trail, though he was named as a potential witness. I don't think there is anything odd in this, as he was not involved, and would have been called probably only  if an alibi or character statement had been requiredHe was based at Gormanstomn MT, as were the two who were tried

It is a fair summary of the sort of problems that occured with Black & Tans. I have not seen a well researched summary of the total murders carried out by Black & Tans

trial-01b.jpg.cd810e6fdde4b7f917e86797fa05c584.jpg

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