Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Claire Bridge, Mavis Williams and Viv Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Ffynnongroyw
Name / Enw: Griffiths Thomas
Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 15115
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Menin Gate
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: panel 22
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Belgium
Date of Death: 3rd March 1916
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in action 3 March 1916
Although Thomas Griffiths is listed on the Picton memorial, and is not listed on the Ffynongroyw Memorial, .there is a Flintshire WW1 Index Card which is filed with the Ffynongroyw cards in the Flintshire Roll of Honour in The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Ffynnongroyw F6). The address given on the card was Dee View, Ffynnongroyw, Nr. Chester. His regimental details were confirmed as detailed above. It says that he had served 2 years. His card was signed on the 26th September 1919 by Ellen Williams his sister. Ellen is the relative named on his Commonwealth War Grave Certificate. See link.
Thomas Griffiths was born 1881. His parents Richard & Mary Griffiths and their daughter Ellen, aged 4 were living at the Trap, Picton, Flintshire on the 1871 census so it is entirely possible that Thomas was born there. Richard, the father was a 30 year old Collier.
On the 1881 census the family was living at Ardd Ddu, Llanasa, Flintshire. Richard, 40, was head of the household. His wife Mary was age 38. Their listed children on this census were Elizabeth, 8, Joseph, 6 Ann, 4, and Thomas age 1.
The 1891 census records most of the family living in 2 rooms at “Back” (next to Glanrafon houses or cottages) Llanasa, Flintshire. Mary, then 45 was a Charwoman. Her listed children were Joseph 15, a Coalminer, Thomas 10, Mary 8 and Esther, 6. The whole family had been born in Llanasa. Richard, the father was not listed. Where was he?
It is possible that he was recorded in the1891 census as a boarder living at 3, Little London, Holywell, Flintshire, in the household of Mishard Parry (described as a pauper) and his wife Elizabeth (a Lodging House Keeper). Richard Griffiths was a 50 year old married man who was a Coal Miner born in Llanasa. He was was 1 of 3 Boarders.
Ten years later the census of 1901 lists the family at 1 Glanrafon Cottages. Richard was then 60 and still a Coal Miner. Mary his wife was 58. Recorded in the family home were Joseph 25 also a Coal Miner. Thomas was a ‘Pusher On of coal below ground’. It wrongly records his age as 26. He was at that time 20. Esther was 16.
The 1911 census reveals that the Father, Richard who was 71 and by then a widower, was living with his married daughter Ellen Williams and her family at Dee View Penyffordd Ffynongroyw. But where was Thomas?
It is possible that like other colliers from the area, he had followed the work to Ashton in Makerfield. There is a Thomas Griffiths, a Coal Miner aged 32 from Mostyn, who was one of two boarders at the home of George Hughes at 147 Old Road, Ashton in Makerfield. George Hughes, a Coal miner and three members of his family had come from Llanasa. It’s a long shot and cannot be proved but it might be Thomas, as so far he has been impossible to find elsewhere.
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914-19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk, includes an entry for Thomas Griffiths. It confirms the regimental details at the top of this page. It tells us that he was born in Picton and that he had resided in Mostyn. He had enlisted in Rhyl. This source tells us he was killed in action on the 3rd March 1916.
Thomas Griffiths’s medal Index card, also on Ancestry, lists his three medals, and tells us that his first Theatre of War was in France and he entered it on the 27th September 1915. He was killed in action on the 3rd March 1916.
Thomas Griffiths’s brother Joseph is also named on the Picton memorial. Follow the link to read his story.