I do not know if this man is the right one, but he is the only one I could find on the CWGC Database that lived anywhere near Deeside (Connah’s Quay & Shotton), but was from Buckley (Burtnwood) and was living there in 1939, but of course could have come to live in the area before enlisting, although we do not know that date of enlistment, as there are no records that tell us that at the moment. He is not on the Buckley WW2 or Hawarden War Memorials.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
So with that in mind, I will tell this soldier’s story as best I can with the proviso that you are aware that we need more proof in any case, if he is not remembered in Buckley or on any local memorial, he needs to be remembered for his sacrifice.
Herbert was the son of Frederick & Martha Ann Griffiths (nee Wainwright) who had married in Christ Church, Chester (Cheshire West CE11/2/306) in the September Quarter of 1908.
Martha Ann, I believe is on the 1901 census living with her large family at Burntwood, Buckley, Flintshire with father Isaac , mother Elizabeth, 5 brothers, William, Walter, John, Joseph and Isaac and 2 sisters, Susanna and Bessie.
Herbert is not shown on the 1911 census, as his birthday was the 5th May 1911 and the Census date was 2nd April 1911, so he hadn’t been born. However, his parent’s, Frederick and Martha A. Griffiths were Boarding at 9, Long Row, Burntwood, Buckley, Flintshire (4 rooms) (All spoke only English), Fred , an Insurance Agent, had been married 3 years, and Martha A., also a Boarder, tells us that 1 child had been born and was still living, both aged 23 years. The child mentioned was Elizabeth E. Griffiths* age 2 years (with Grand daughter crossed out). They were living with John Griffiths, age 67, single and a Shop Keeper on his own account, and they had all been born in Buckley.
*Elizabeth Ellen Griffiths married Alfred Jones in a Civil Ceremony in Holywell in 1931 (Flintshire (Mold)HOL/53/24), and who is mentioned in Herbert’s Will (see below).
Herbert passed his exams and is in the Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10
1002/1455 GRIFFITHS, Herbert, Date of Birth – 5th May 1911, 1, Burn Wood, Buckley, Grocer, 16th September 1924, St. Mathew’s, Buckley, Date of Leaving – 23rd July 1926 – Joiner Appr.
I believe that the family were to suffer the loss of their breadwinner when Frederick, Herbert’s father died in 1932, age 45 years.
Herbert appears on the 1939 Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939, living at the Shop, Burntwood , Buckley U.D., Flintshire, Wales with 4 people at that address. Martha A. Griffiths was head of the household, a widow and Grocer, born on the 28th March 1889. Herbert, was single, a Carpenter and Joiner, born on the 5th May 1911, there is another lady in the household, and Edith E. Morrlle (Weigh), a Paid Housekeeper, single and born on the 9th July 1915. Edith married Edward Weigh at the Highway Methodist Church, Ewloe, (Flintshire (Mold)A103/02/E7) in 1941. There was 1 redacted record, which does not tell us anything except that it can be opened with proper documentation.
I do not have information on Herbert’s early life, and as said previously, I do not have any indication when he enlisted, but the Casualty form 1498 (page 5) tells us that Herbert was Killed in Action on the 23rd June 1944. His Casualty Card (8315) which also records his death tell us that his place of birth and Residence was Buckley, Nr. Chester, Flintshire, this also records his date of death , Regiment and Regimental Number 14387075 and his was Killed in Action.
The Newspaper Manchester Evening News dated 3rd August 1944 (Page 3) records his death, (see the newspaper cutting below), but just states:-
Gunner Herbert GRIFFITHS, aged 33, Burntwood,, near Buckley (in Action).
Taken from the CWGC Citation:-
On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but the advance was checked for some months at the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line. The line eventually fell in May 1944 and as the Germans fell back, Rome was taken by the Allies on 3 June. This cemetery was established as a battlefield cemetery by the 78th Division in the middle of June 1944, during the first heavy fighting north of Rome. The burials, with only one exception, date from the period 14 June-4 July 1944. Orvieto War Cemetery contains 190 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 2 of which are unidentified. It was designed by Louis de Soissons.
64th (Queen’s Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment, RAEdit
Mobilised in September 1939 the regiment remained in the United Kingdom as part of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division until July 1942 when the regiment became an integral part of the newly created 78th “Battleaxe” Infantry Division. The 78th was formed specifically for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa, from regular British Army units, landing at Algiers in November 1942. Thereafter it continued to fight in the Tunisia Campaign, then in the Allied invasion of Sicily, up the length of Italy during the Italian Campaign, before finally arriving in Austria for the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. Units also saw action in Greece, Palestine, and Egypt. Notable engagements include in Tunisia Longstop Hill, in Sicily the Battle of Centuripe and, while fighting in the Italian Campaign, the assaults on the Viktor Line (Battle of Termoli), the Barbara Line and the River Sangro (Gustav Line) as well as the Battle of Monte Cassino, the Gothic Line and the Battle of the Argenta Gap, part of the final Spring 1945 offensive in Italy.
Herbert Griffiths in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995, tells us:-
GRIFFITHS, Herbert of 1, Burntwood, Buckley, Flintshire died 23 June 1944 on war service. Administration with Will (limited) Chester 5 June to Martha Ann GRIFFITHS widow and Elizabeth Ellen JONES (wife of Alfred JONES)
Herbert was well loved as someone put his name forward, if we have the right person, but if anyone knows better, please get in touch with the website so the other H.Griffiths story can be told.