Live like you mean it and love til you feel it (rei17) wrote in little_details,
Live like you mean it and love til you feel it

Identity theft during WWI

Okay, so this is highly specific and I'm having a hard time googling it (seriously, somebody up there is going to think I'm planning identity theft by now, for how often I googled "false identity during wwi", "soldiers swapping identity", "mistaken identity" "passport during WWI" and so on). My question is: How hard or easy would it have been for an english soldier during WWI to swap identities with another soldier who dies, especially near the end of the war? For example in the trenches or if they ended up in the same hospital would he just be able to idk swap their tags? Would it be easier or more difficult if they were both low ranking officers (like Lieutenants)? And what other kind of identifiers existed back then? Would a soldier have carried a passport or something like that?

My story is set immediately post WWI (beginning of 1919) and it's about an inheritance. Except on of the potential heirs is a conman who took over the identity of the real newphew. So I'm kinda flexible if it happens during the war or in the chaotic aftermath (spanish flu, demobilisation, etc.) whatever is easiest. I'd be thankful for any and all kinds of informations or ideas.
Tags: 1910-1919, uk: history: world war i, ~inheritance, ~passports, ~scams, ~world war i

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