Richard Griffiths was born in Rhyl in 1881. His birth was registered at St Asaph during the September quarter 1881 [Free BMD]
The 1901 census records the family living in Millbank Road, Rhyl. His Mother, Sarah, is described as a widow. On that census, Richard’s occupation is that of “general labourer”. His age was given as 19. The census confirmed that they spoke Welsh and English.
During the December quarter 1901, Richard married Jane Evans at St Asaph Registry Office. [North Wales BMD]
By the time of the 1911 census, the family had moved to Rhuddlan. Richard and Jane are recorded living at Marrian Cottage, Rhuddlan with their five children. Richard’s occupation is now given as “bricklayer”
On the 30th April 1915, he enlisted in the 2/5th Bn. Royal Welch Fusiliers, at Rhyl, giving his former occupation as “painter”. Although classed as, “Fit for Military Service”, Richard had problematic ulcers on his legs following an operation in 1907. [Military Records Ancestry]
2/5th Bn. RWF, was formed at Flint in September 1914, as a Home Service [second line] Unit. On the 22nd April 1915, it was attached to the 203rd Brigade, 68 Division, at Northampton. The Battalion then moved to Bedford in July 1915. It remained in the UK until it was disbanded on 16th March 1918.[The Long, Long Trail]
Military duties aggravated Richard’s condition. He spent 40 days in a Field Hospital in Northampton, before being transferred to The Southern General Hospital in Birmingham, for further treatment. Following a Military Medical Board examination, he was discharged from the Army on 7th April 1916, as “Medically Unfit for Service”. [Ancestry]
Richard’s death is reported in the Rhyl Journal of 6th January 1917; “Sunday evening last. The deceased had been seriously ill for some weeks. The end came suddenly. He was for some time a Private in the Territorial Army, but was obliged to resign on account of ill health. Much sympathy is exteded to his widow and children”.
There is a Flintshire War Memorial Record Card for him at Hawarden, which confirms his medical discharge.
He died on the 1st January 1917 after being discharged. He was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, Rhuddlan on the 4th January 1917. [Parish Register] At the time of writing no grave marking has been discovered.
Richard is commemorated on the Rhuddlan War Memorial, the Royal British Legion Roll of Honour [in the Community Centre] St Mary’s Church Scroll of Honour and Window, as well as the North Wales Memorial Arch at Bangor. He is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
I am indebted to Sarah Hodnett of Rhuddlan Local History Society, for her assistance in compiling this report.