Author Topic: British dog tags?  (Read 859 times)

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Offline brandm24

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British dog tags?
« on: April 24, 2020, 01:28:22 PM »
These two pieces are included in a lot of old copper coins I'm watching on eBay. I believe they're dog tags but can't decipher the meaning of them.

This one is on the planed down obverse of an old Spanish 10 Centimos. There's very little detail left to date it but it appears to be pre -World War l. The STO CE struck on either side of the hole is curious. I don't know if it should be read as a single word STOCE or as separate words or acronym STO CE.
I assume the GE / Cockcain is the serviceman's name and the numbers below are his serial number. The letters/numbers are a little indistinct but seem to read KK(orX)97405. Can anyone decipher it for me?

I have to grab a picture of the second one so will post it later. Thanks everyone.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 01:59:07 PM »
"Cockcain" proves to be a very unusual variant of the name more often seen as Cockayne and similar. The whole of Ancestry yields just four matches:

- Samuel Cockcain, who paid 2s 8d in tax to Fannett township, Pennsylvania, in 1786.
- Mary Cockcain, buried at Sheering, Essex, on 2 September 1790
- Thomas Cockcain, buried at the same place on 13 March 1785 (quite possibly Mary's husband)
- Reginald Cockcain, freemason, who at the age of 35 was inducted into the Greta Lodge (Keswick, Cumberland) of the United Grand Lodge of England on 14 October 1919.

None of these seem relevant here.

A similar global search on FindMyPast (similar to Ancestry but more UK/Ireland oriented) yielded just one hit, a 1910 passenger list from New South Wales containing a "Mr and Mrs Cockcain" (no further details in the summary, and the original is in part of the site I don't have a subscription to).

I'll try and dig a bit more using variants of the name.

Offline malj1

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 02:57:35 PM »
I think KX 97405 may be an Australian number

CE could be CofE (Church of England) as most dog tags had the religion prominently.
Malcolm
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Offline brandm24

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 05:52:47 PM »
"Cockcain" proves to be a very unusual variant of the name more often seen as Cockayne and similar. The whole of Ancestry yields just four matches:

- Samuel Cockcain, who paid 2s 8d in tax to Fannett township, Pennsylvania, in 1786.
- Mary Cockcain, buried at Sheering, Essex, on 2 September 1790
- Thomas Cockcain, buried at the same place on 13 March 1785 (quite possibly Mary's husband)
- Reginald Cockcain, freemason, who at the age of 35 was inducted into the Greta Lodge (Keswick, Cumberland) of the United Grand Lodge of England on 14 October 1919.

None of these seem relevant here.

A similar global search on FindMyPast (similar to Ancestry but more UK/Ireland oriented) yielded just one hit, a 1910 passenger list from New South Wales containing a "Mr and Mrs Cockcain" (no further details in the summary, and the original is in part of the site I don't have a subscription to).

I'll try and dig a bit more using variants of the name.
I thought Cockcain was an odd surname too. As a matter of fact, every time I tried to Google the name i got directed to all kinds of information on cocaine. I decided not to click on any of them or I might be getting a not-too-polite knock on the door from the internet police. :-X

I agree, the four examples of the surname Cockcain you came up with don't look promising. I appreciate your looking into it a bit more. I also thank you for the tip on FindMyPast. I'll have to look into that for future reference.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 05:57:18 PM »
If Malcolm is right about it being an Australian army number, then the person involved in the NSW passenger list could be the same as the owner of the tag.

Offline brandm24

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 05:57:59 PM »
I think KX 97405 may be an Australian number

CE could be CofE (Church of England) as most dog tags had the religion prominently.
Good catch on the CE, Mal. I hadn't thought about it indicating his religion. I know on American dog tags, at least starting with WW ll, a serviceman's religion was part of the inscription. My father was in the navy and it was on his.

That's interesting that it might possibly Australian.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2020, 06:01:31 PM »
If Malcolm is right about it being an Australian army number, then the person involved in the NSW passenger list could be the same as the owner of the tag.
Definitely possible then. Too bad the couples first names weren't recorded.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2020, 06:24:40 PM »
In the Australian military, STO stands for Sea Transport Officer.

Since it doesn't look like a military rank, couldn't GE be a first name (George) or initials?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 06:37:32 PM »
I presumed GE were initials, yes. The standard shortened written form of George was Geo.

Offline gerard974

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2020, 07:17:37 PM »
In the Australian military, STO stands for Sea Transport Officer.

Since it doesn't look like a military rank, couldn't GE be a first name (George) or initials?

Peter
Hello Peter
and in France WWII STO i service travail obligatoire

Service du travail obligatoire — Wikipédia(France)

Best regards Gerard

Offline malj1

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2020, 12:30:53 AM »
Apparently this system of using a X followed by a number didn't come in until WW2

All members of the Second AIF were allocated a serial number. The first letter represented the state of enlistment: N – New South Wales; V – Victoria; Q – Queensland; S – South Australia; W – Western Australia; T – Tasmania; D ("Darwin") – Northern Territory; P - Papua New Guinea. The serial numbers of female soldiers followed this with an F. AIF serial numbers then had an X. A low number indicated an early enlistment. General Blamey was VX1.

The KX doesn't appear here in this list so it may have been for another commonwealth country.

See also Service number

Malcolm
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Offline brandm24

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2020, 01:32:19 AM »
I also assumed the GE were the initials of the first and middle name.

Bruce
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Offline bagerap

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2020, 10:30:39 AM »
The surname has interesting antecedents:

Cockaigne - Wikipedia

Offline brandm24

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2020, 04:23:11 PM »
Here's the second tag that I mentioned. This one is on the reverse of a George Vl Penny but the date is obliterated. Apparently, it's a WW ii tag. It's made with a center punch.

I read "22845" (a serial number probably) "CE" (rank?) "RFA" (I was thinking Royal Field Artillery) and "Chapman or Chapman(s)" The extreme right part of the world is unclear.

Any thoughts on this tag?

Bruce
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Offline bagerap

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Re: British dog tags?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2020, 04:34:15 PM »
Perhaps Royal Fleet Auxiliary which is a merchant fleet operated by the Ministry of Defence. Personnel wear Royal Navy uniform and are subject to RN regulations and discipline.