Griffiths, Arthur

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Griffiths, Arthur

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 8th Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 12637

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Basra Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 15

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Iraq

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals and 15 Star

Date of Death: 5th April 1916

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in action Mesopotamia  5th April 1916.

Arthur appeared on a census for the first time in 1891.  All the family had been born in Hawarden, and the father Francis J. Griffiths, 38 was a Labourer. His wife was Mary E who was  35. Their listed children were Thomas 16, a Labourer,  Charles  4,  Ellis  8 and Arthur was  2.

By the 1901 census the family was living at Higher Shotton, Flintshire.  The father, Francis  was missing from the census, but Mary C. Griffiths was recorded as married and not widowed.  The children listed were  James, 26  a Furnace man in the iron works, Fanny was 25, Ellis 18 was an Engine Fitter’s Apprentice,  Charles  14 was a Blacksmith’s Apprentice, Arthur was  12, and Mary T. was  8.   There was a Boarder, William J. Reeks, 26 a Sailor (Seas)who had been born in London.

(I cannot find Francis J Griffiths on the 1901 census but I found a Francis Griffiths in the Asylum in Denbigh on the 1911 census, age 56, he was a Patient, married and a  General Labourer, and had been born in Hawarden, Flintshire.    Perhaps he was ill in 1901).

The 1911 census again sees Mary Catherine on her own with some of her children, living at Woodfield Villas, Queensferry, Flintshire.   She was 58 and had been married 38 years. She stated that there had been 11 children born but 2 had died.   With her were Charles  24  and a’ Head Pickler’ in the Sheet Works.  Arthur  21 was an  Assistant in the Sheet Works,  Mary T. 18 was in Domestic Service.    There were 2 Boarders living there, Elias Lathem, single, age 21 and Stephen Lathem single age 15 both Underhead Picklers in the Sheet Works and both had been born in Hawarden Flintshire.

UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton.  Arthurs’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was the Balkans and that he entered it on 28th June 1915.

Arthur is commemorated on a family grave in St Deniol’s Churchyard, Hawarden  North Extension (West Side) – C 20 an also on the Imperial War Museum – Memorial Project Website – http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/60278 – Description – Red Granite Headstone & kerbs with Lead lettering.

In memory of Francis Griffiths Died 12th Oct 1921 – Also his wife, Catherine died 20th April 1939  – also their son Private Arthur Griffiths Killed in action 1916.  – Mary Tellett Griffiths, sister of the above, died 29th Jan 1943 age 49.

There is an index card for Arthur Griffith in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden.  (WW1 Index Card  F8 Queensferry). It confirms the regimental details above and was signed, as were many of the Queensferry cards  by  a W. Walters.

Arthur Griffiths in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tell us that the Sole Legatee was his mother Catherine who was paid £2.4s 2d on the 1st January 1917? And his War Gratuity of £7. 0s 0d on the 31st October 1919.

He is also listed on the Hawarden War Memorial and the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church, also on the Queensferry Roll of Honour.Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.