Private 17415 Arthur Griffiths

Died of Wounds on Sunday, 19th March 1916, age 29.
Commemorated on Panel 37 and 39 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

6th Bn., Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. 60th Brigade of 20th Division.

Husband of Mrs A Griffiths, of 44 New Road, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Goring, Oxford, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 2nd September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/907920/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
62 New Road, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
John Griffiths (42, Iron Puddler, born Dudley), his wife Eliza (38, born Rowley), and their 7 children: John (18, Iron Shearer, born Dudley), Edward (11, Scholar, born Dudley), Joseph (9, Scholar, born Dudley), Ernest (8, Scholar, born Dudley), William (5, Scholar, born Tipton), Arthur (4, born Tipton), and Clara (1, born Tipton).

1901 Census
62 New Road, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
John Griffiths (53, Puddler, born Dudley), his wife Eliza (49, born Rowley), and their 8 children: Edward (21, Puddler, born Dudley), Joseph (19, Puddler, born Dudley), Ernest (18, Assistant at Iron Rolls, born Dudley), William (15, Assistant at Iron Rolls, born Tipton), Arthur (14, Work's Messenger, born Tipton), Clara (11, born Tipton), Eliza (9, born Tipton), and Henry (4, born Tipton).

1911 Census
240 Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Arthur Griffiths (24, Steel Worker, born Tipton), his wife Mercy (20, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Arthur (1, born Tipton), and Joseph (8 months, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Arthur's widow, Mercy, received his outstanding army pay and allowances in May 1916, this amounted to £1/17/11d ( 1 pound, 17 shillings, and 11 pence). Mercy also received his War Gratuity of £4/10/0d in August 1919. The value of the War Gratuity and his date of death suggest that Arthur enlisted in January 1915.

Action resulting in his death

Arthur Grifiths landed in France on 2nd September 1915; for the subsequent 6 months until his death, the 6th Ox & Bucks were involved in holding the line in French Flanders and the Ypres sector from February 1916. They were involved in no major actions but still had about 70 men killed in that period.

In early March the 6th Ox and Bucks were in the front line about 2 miles north of Ypres (Hill Top Farm) before being relieved back to 'A' Camp on the Canal bank (near Essex Farm), and 'B' Camp near Brandhoek. Although out of the line, they were still providing working parties, but managed to visit the Divisional baths at Poperinge.

On the 14th March, the 6th Ox and Bucks marched to Essex Farm and relieved the 7th Somerset Light Infantry in the front-line trenches from the 15th to 17th March . It was recorded as 'a quiet period', with 2 men killed, 10 wounded and 1 died of wounds. On the 18th March they were relieved and moved back to the canal bank near Essex Farm, still 2 men died of wounds and 4 were wounded. For the next 3 days, 19th to 21st March, they provided working parties with just 1 man wounded.

Arthur died of wounds on 19th March (18th March according to an article in the Tipton Herald), so it is possible that he was wounded during any of these days, either in the front line, during their relief, or taking part in working parties. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 23rd January 1915
Roll of Honour
Griffiths A. 44 Horseley Rd (Oxford & Bucks).

Tipton Herald 22nd April 1916
Death of Private Arthur Griffiths.
Another Great Bridge Hero.
The news has been officially received that Private Arthur Griffiths, 6th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been killed in action in France on March 18th last. He leaves a widow and four children. His home is still at New Road, Great Bridge, at which place he was born and had lived there until his enlistment. He was 29 on January 29th last, and enlisted in January of the previous year.
On Sunday evening, April 9th, a most impressive service in memory of the deceased took place in the United Methodist Church, New Road, one of his old school mates, William Bettany, being the preacher. The relatives attending the service included the widow and children, his father, his sisters Clara and Eliza, his brothers John, Edward, Joseph, Ernest, Albert, William and Harry, the widow's parents (Mr and Mrs Price), and other relatives. The works at which he was engaged for a number of years (Messrs J & C Holcrofts Ltd., Portfield) was represented by Mr T Elmore (manager) and several others.