Lance Corporal 12730 Joseph Griffin

Killed in Action Mesopotamia on Saturday, 10th February 1917, age unknown.
Commemorated on Panel 16 and 62 of Basra Memorial, Basra, Iraq.

4th Bn., South Wales Borderers. 40th Brigade of 13th Division.

Born: Dudley Port, Enlisted: Newport, Mon., Resident: Griffithstown, Mon.

First landed Balkans, 19th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/865575/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
2 House 1 Court Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Griffin (26, Ironworks Furnaceman, born Dudley Port), his wife Maria (26, born Dudley Port), and their 4 children: Joseph (6, born Dudley Port), William (5, born Dudley Port), Harold (3, born Dudley Port), and Dora (11 months, born Dudley Port).

1911 Census
17 St. Mary Street, Griffithstown, Pontypool, Monmouthshire.
Joseph Edward Griffin (35, Worker at Sheet Mills, born Tividale), his wife Maria (35, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Joseph (16, born Dudley Port), William (14, born Dudley Port), Harold (12, School, born Dudley Port), Dora (10, School, born Dudley Port), and Phoebe (7, born Dudley Port).

Personal Data

Joseph's outstanding army pay and allowances was paid to his father, Joseph Edward, in May and July 1917; this amounted to £27/2/7d ( 27 pounds, 2 shillings, and 7 pence). His father also received Joseph's War Gratuity of £11/0/0d in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity and his date of death suggest that Joseph enlisted in September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers were part of 40th Brigade in the 13th Division. They left England on 13th June 1915, bound for Gallipoli.

Joseph Griffin is recorded as having first landed on 19th July 1915, it is likely that he was in action at Anzac Cove, Sari Bair, and Hill 60 during the Gallipoli Campaign. The Gallipoli Peninsula was finally evacuated on the night of 8-9th January 1916, and the 4/SWB then went to Mudros, then to Egypt, and then to Mesopotamia.

At the beginning of April 1916, the 13th Division took part in a third attempt to relieve the British troops trapped in Kut-al-Amara. This operation ended on the 29th April, when the garrison at Kut, nearing starvation, surrendered to the Turks.

The oppressive heat prevented much activity during the summer months, and it was 13th December 1916 before operations began to recapture Kut-al-Amara.

The South Wales Borderers were directly involved in the major attack on 25th January 1917 and in the final assault on 15th February. However, Joseph Griffin was not to see the final assault as he was killed in action on 10th February 1917; he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings