Paul Edward Howell Griffith was the son of the former rector of Nannerch – David Howell Griffith who died a month before his soldier son. (During WW1, Rev David Howell Griffith served as a parish Rector and also as chaplain at Kinmel camp for the British Army)
Both are remembered on a plaque behind the pulpit in the parish church at Nannerch.
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.
In the 1911 census, Paul Edward Howell Griffith was recorded as a Boarder aged 11 at The Woodboughs School, Church Street, Mosley, Birmingham. Interestingly, Paul’s brother, David Howell Griffith aged 10 was also a boarder at the school . He had been born in Australia. this was a much travelled family. In fact, a newspaper obituary of Paul’s father who died in 1917, confirms that he had served as a clergyman in Australia and other ‘colonies’.
In 1912, the family had arrived in Nannerch where David Howell Griffith served as Rector.
The memorial in Nannerch gives us some military details as a starting point for Paul’s story. UK Soldiers who died in the Great war 1914-19 – accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk tells us his birthplace was Llandudno. He enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. He was placed in the 4th Reserve Battalion and given the regimental number 40710. His death date on this and all other military sources state the 6th January 1918 and not the 4th as on the memorial. This source said he ‘Died’. This generally means that he died of illness or accident as opposed to ‘Killed in action’ or ‘Died of Wounds’.
The Register of soldier’s Effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for Paul. This says he died on the 6th January 1918 in a Military Hospital in Exeter. A total of £9…13sh ..5d was paid to his mother Marion.
There seem to be no medals awarded which suggests that he never served abroad. He was only 18. He died just over a month after his father committed suicide.