I have been researching many (Australian) military/archival records and found a relatively small number of people who signed up for WWI and WWII did so in a name different to their birth name. For example, Campion signs up as Champion but with different initials OR Jones signs up as Joins with same initials.In those times literacy would have been an issue, but that would be making and assumption on unknown facts. On many occasions when correspondence (injury, fatality) went to the Next of Kin (NOK), the NOK raised the correct (birth) name). (In some cases the NOK name, shown on enlistment papers, made it obvious a fictitious name was being used. I have found some records are shown as Birth Name (AKA sign up name), others signup name (AKA Birth name.

What is the correct order of protocol for showing the various names in official Government records?

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    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 23:04

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There are several issues with the accuracy of enlistments for WW1. Firstly they may not have filled in the forms themselves and this was probably done by a ? corporal and witnessed by an officer. Time was short and there were thousands of men to enlist so mistakes were bound to happen. Most men by 1914 could read and write, some better than others.(ref Diggers to Veterans project) It is estimated that at least 20,000 used aliases as there was not need to provide identification. There is a book at the State Libraries ( can't find the correct title at the moment) which lists known aliases. I have spent many years trying to find a certain 2nd Lt who was awarded MM but as he was wanted by Police in Qld and NSW, he used an alias.Have photos of him at home in England in 1917 with his family but he served with AIF under an alias. To get back to your question, I think probably the name he signed up, also listing aka.

  • to my mind the use of AKA has unintended criminal connotations whereas, "served as" is a "true" reflection of the nature of the enlistment. The CWGC shows "served as" AWM & NAA show AKA, when known.There should be a consistency of the International & National recording of history for such important records. The "true" details will be buried with no clear path to the detailed total truth. Your thoughts.? Re the AIF 2nd Lt MM winner, it seems as though he may have had English family and may have migrated to Australia... a search along this path , then to the NAA may assist you.
    – Semphome
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 9:58

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