There is often a lot of confusion when attempting to put together a service man’s biography. One of the more common reasons is the individual’s name. While researching one particular navy man I came across 3 men with the same name, all born in the same year, and all from the same town.
Thomas Roberts’ service record shows his date of birth as 8 April 1860 and place of birth listed as St. Mary’s, Nottingham.
The Thomas Roberts on the 1911 census who was born at Plungar, Leicestershire was a Book Seller. The same man is found on the 1881 census listed as an unmarried, 21 year old, “Book Canvasser” (door-to-door book seller), born at Plungar, Leicestershire. The navy man Thomas Roberts was listed on the 1881 census as a 21 year old, Ordinary Seaman, “patient”, Royal Naval Hospital (Plymouth) at East Stonehouse, place of birth listed as Nottingham. His service record confirms he had been “D.S.Q.” Plymouth (discharged to sick quarters.) I believe that these are two different men with the same name and of similar ages. If I am correct, then the date of death 23 February 1940 on the Probate is for the wrong man.