Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name / Enw: Griffiths, James Samuel
Regiment/Catrawd: Lancashire Fusiliers 15th Bn.
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 25864, formerly 137939, R.F.A.
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: VIII. L. 20.
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British War Medals
Date of Death: 12th June 1918
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Action
James Samuel was another soldier I found through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, just writing “Saltney” in the “Additional Information” line.
James was the son on Thomas & Maria Margaret GRIFFITHS (nee GREGG), who, I believe, married in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended one (Cheshire West ROC/21/44) in 1884.
He appeared on the 1901 census for the first time, living at Boundary Lane, Saltney, Flintshire
His father Thomas, 37, was head of the household and a Forge Furnace man, born in Saltney, Flintshire. His wife Maria Margaret, was 38 and had been born in Chester as had Norman, 11. Martha Jane, 9, James, 8, Thomas, 7, and Margaret,4, had all been born in Saltney, Cheshire.
The 1911 census sees the family still living in Boundary Lane, but No.2. Thomas, 47. a Blast Furnace man at the Chain & Anchor Works, tells us that he and Maria Margaret, 49, had been married for 29 years and that 12 children had been born to them, but sadly 3 had died. On this census Thomas states he had been born in Bretton, Hawarden. Martha Jane, 20, was single, Norman, 21 and single was a Tripe Dresser at the Tripe Works, James, 18, and single was a Cowman on a Farm, Thomas, 17 was a Furnace Door Lad (Chain & Anchor Works) Maggie, 15 and Violet, 4 made up the family,and a Grand Daughter Gladys Bunning Griffiths, 4, who had been born in Hawarden, was in the household that night.
I cannot find any Army Attestation Papers for James Samuel, but there are other documents such as James Griffiths in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, which confirms the regimental details above and also that he was formerly 137939, R.F.A.
I believe that James Samuel married in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended in Chester (Cheshire West ROC/63/124) in 1916. His bride was Ellen EARLAM.
James S Griffiths in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Ellen, who received £7 18s 2d on the 28th November 1918 and his War Gratuity of £8 10s on the 21st August 1919
James Griffiths in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where his Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.
If anyone can add anything more to James Samuel’s life, please get in touch with the website. It would be much appreciated.