Joseph Griffiths is named on the Picton Memorial as was his brother Thomas.
Joseph Griffiths was the brother of Thomas Griffiths who also died in the war. Neither of the brothers was named on the Ffynongroyw Memorial, despite the fact that there is an index card for each of them, filed with the Ffynongroyw cards in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record office in Hawarden. (Ffynnongroyw F5)
Joseph’s Flintshire card was completed by his older sister Ellen. She gives the address as 4 Dee View, Penyffordd, Ffynongroyw. The card tells us that he served for 4 years. Ellen wrote that he Drowned in Mesopotamia on the 30th June 1918. The card ard was signed by Ellen Williams on the 26th September, 1918.
Joseph Griffiths was born 1875.
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 Joseph?
It has proved difficult so far to locate him in the 1911 census. There are some possibilities but these would be sheer speculation.
UK Soldierers who died in The Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk tells us that he enlisted in Holywell and was originally in The Royal Welsh Fusiliers with the regimental number 30424 but at the time of his death was 49322 of the Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Garrison Bn) . It tells us he ‘Died’ in the Asiatic Theatre of War on the 30th June 1918.
His medal Index card- also on Ancestry gives a slightly different regimental number for his time in the RWF. It says he was 30425. It confirms that when he died he was in the Northumberland Fusiliers and was 49322. It lists his two medals and adds that he was ‘Acc (Accidentally) drowned, this confirming what his sister Ellen wrote on his Flintshire card.
The UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for Joseph. It tells us that the sole Legatee was his sister Ellen Williams who was paid £27 17s 3d on the 24th July 1919, this was including his War Gratuity of £19.