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He stated his birth being in St Bride’s parish in London, around October 1871.
He had been in 3/West Surrey Regiment and bought his way out.
His career in this regiment was rather short: on 29 Jan 1892 he was under arrest awaiting trial for making a false statement on his attestation. On 15 Feb 1892 he was tried by a ‘Civil Power’ (presumably the Criminal Court) and sentenced to one calendar month imprisonment for this. On 11 March they kicked him out.
It turns out he had served in the East Surrey Regiment, attesting in May 1888 at Kingston, but his name is actually Henry Jordan, not Arthur Gotts. He stated his mother was Emily Jordan of Brixton, London, though he had not declared anyone as next of kin when joining the Royal Scots.
From February 1889 he had a string offences:
This was clearly enough for the regiment and he was kicked out 15 Feb 1890.
The records also include his service papers for Henry Jordan in E Surrey Regiment, together with two confessions when he was discharged.
“I confess that I formerly served in the depot of the Yorkshire Light Infantry under the name H Jordan, and I deserted therefrom in December 1891. I further confess I have served in the 2nd Battn East Surrey Regiment and I was discharged therefrom for misconduct at Guernsey on 11 Jan 1888. My name there was Henry Jordan” Signed H Jordan alias Arthur Gotts
Why not John Smith, Thomas Brown?
I could understand a surname changing, but not a forename as well.
There aren’t any Arthur Gottses born or serving around the time that could fit, and there is only one Arthur who might have been alive and growing up in the same area as Henry Jordan. This would be Arthur 2469, born in Hackney son of John Gotts & Ann Coe .