David Howell Griffith had been the rector of Nannerch from 1912 until 1917 when he became a padre (chaplain) in the British Army. His death is commemorated on a plaque on a wall behind the pulpit the church. The plaque also commemorates the death of his young son, Paul Edward Howell Griffith, aged 17 years as a young soldier.
The census of 1911 records David Howell Griffith, aged 48 living at The Vicarage, in Bagillt. He was a Clergyman who had been born in Birmingham. His wife of 15 years, Marion Howell Griffith had been born in Flintshire. The form tells us that she had given birth to 7 children but only 5 had survived. There were two children listed at home on the census. Ruth Marion was 6. She had been born in Parktown, Transvaal, South Africa. Stephen was 3 and had been born in Abergele Denbighshire. There were two 15 year old servants, one of whom was a General Servant and the other was a Nursery Maid. Two of the other children were away as boarders at school in Birmingham. Paul Howell Griffith aged 11 and David Howell Griffith aged 10 (this boy had been born in Australia), were pupils at The Woodboughs school in Mosley, Birmingham. There are more details on Paul’s page on this website.
The newspaper obituary below gives us some details of his life as well as graphic details of his suicide. We are told that he was ordained in 1887 and that he served successfully in ‘the Colonies’. On his return to the UK from Australia, he became Curate at Ruthin and was then promoted to the Rectory of Nannerch. During WW1 he combined his parish duties alongside chaplaincy duties at Kinmel camp. It seems the stress and anxiety brought on by overwork brought about a severe depression. He committed suicide at the home of his sister and brother in law in South Wales, where he had gone for a break on the advice of his doctor.
He died a little more than a month before his soldier son Paul died.