LOCAL NEWS

 

Article appeared County Times November 1953.

Mr. and Mrs George Griffiths, 28, Cambrian Drive, Oswestry celebrated their golden wedding on Thursday.  In 1903, November 12th, they were married at the English Baptist Church in Welshpool.  Throughout their 50 years of marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Griffiths have always taken the "County Times," but this is the first time they have had their picture in it. 

They have seven children and seven grandchildren.  The family has a definite military flavour.  Mr. Griffiths served in the Army for 14 years, and fought in World War 1.  Most of their sons and daughters served in World War 11.

They spend their second honeymoon in Yorkshire during this next fortnight.

When asked, "What has made your marriage so successful?"  Mr Griffiths said, "No beer!  That has broken up a lot of marriages.  I have never touched it."

 

 

Article Oswestry Advertizer November 1953.

"People are drinking too many cups of tea today instead of getting on with their work," says pipe smoking 77 year-old Mr. George Griffiths, of 28 Cambrian Drive, Oswestry.

Last week he and his 71 year-old wife Mary celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a small family party at 49 York Street.  They married on November 12, 1903, at the Baptist Chapel, Welshpool. (49 York St was Jennie and Reg's home)

When  Mr. Griffiths began work on the railway it was 13 shillings a week.  He had a three mile walk to the station every morning and three miles back again at night.  And there were no stops for tea. "Cup of tea?" he says, "they want it every half hour to-day."

Mr. Griffiths, who was born at Buttington started life as a farm worker but left to seek adventure in the Army.  He spent nine years with the K.S.L.I. in India.  During the first world War he served for four years attached to the Royal Engineers and the Royal Navy attaining the rank of Signal Instructor.

A railwayman for 40 years his first appointment was as a goods porter at Welshpool, He was transferred to Oswestry but later moved to Kerry where he was a guard for two years.  Finally he became a warehouseman at Oswestry.

Oswestry born Mrs. Griffiths finds pleasure in giving a helping hand to anyone in need.  Her latest deed was to aid the collection for Dr. Barnardo's Homes.   One thing she really likes is a whist-drive.  She plays whist so often that she says: "They taught me first in the house.  Now they are wishing they hadn't.  I hardly ever win, but its a pleasure to play."

Mr. and Mrs Griffiths wish they could turn back the hands of the clock to the days when prices were not quite so high as they are to-day.  They brought up a family of four daughters and three sons.

They are members of the Oswestry Old Folks Club and attend Oswald Road Presbyterian Church.

A special two tier golden wedding cake was made for the anniversary by a daughter, Mrs. E. Hinder.  Pieces of the cake are being sent to Edinburgh, Formby and other places.

 

K.S.L.I.

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 53rd Regiment and the 85th (King's) Infantry, the K.S.L.I. moved to new barracks at Copthorne, Shrewsbury.  Its active service came in Egypt in 1882 followed by a spell in Malta; 1-K.S.L.I. saw service at Suakin on the Red Sea during the Sudan Campaign of 1885.

1-K.S.L.I. during 1895-5 where in Hong Kong where they provided signal service during the outbreak of the bubonic plague and then they moved to India.  At this, time the Battalion where on a peaceful mission.  They fought in the Boer War as a leading part in the battle of Paardeberg in February 1900 also part of the occupation of Bloemfontein and Pretoria.  They then returned to India.

During the 1914-1918 War, 1-K.S.L.I. served on the Western Front and after a spell in France, left for Salonika in October 1915.  The 6th and 7th battalion served on the Western Front or in Salonika.  The 8th battalion K.S.L.I. served in Palestine and France and earned the K.S.L.I.'s only Victoria Cross of the war.

After 1919, the K.S.L.I. served in Ireland, Germany, Aden and India, where they saw active service on the North West Frontier 1930-31.  In 1939 the battalion where in England and the 2nd battalion in the Dutch West Indies.

During the 1939-45 was, 1-K.S.L.I. served in the Dunkirk campaign in Tunisia and Italy.  They ended the war in Palestine.  The 2-K.S.L.I. landed D-Day and served in Normandy and North West Europe.  Through 1944-45 they fought in Belgium and Holland, crossing the Rhine on 25th March 1945 they ended their war at Bremen.  Private J. Stokes of the 2nd was awarded a posthumous V.C. for gallantry at Kervenheim in 1945.

The Battalions amalgamated in 1948 and saw campaigns in Korea and after service in Germany.  They took part in operations in Kenya and two companies served in the Persian Gulf in 1956 and in Aden.  The K.S.L.I. became part of the Light Infantry Brigade and their final tour of duty in Malaysia 1966-68 and on Mauritius also in 1968.  The K.S.L.I. was absorbed into the newly created Light Infantry as the 3rd Battalion in July 1968.

Which of these George Griffiths served in is unknown.  I have spoken to the Curator of the K.S.L.I. at Shrewsbury Castle if George's records have survived both his India and First World War records would have been put together and held at Kew. Reference No: W0363/364.  I have been told that  seventry per cent of the records were destroyed.  A search at this time would be too expensive especially as it might not provide any answers.   

 

 

WELCOME TO THE GRIFFITHS FAMILY

John Griffiths, George's father is quite a mystery and possibly because of the surname very difficult to trace. The first real information I could find appears on the 1871 census for Wales. His birth place recorded at Rowley Shropshire about 1942 and aged 29 on this census. Living with his wife Margarit aged 24 and son John Beavon Griffiths aged 3 and William Griffiths aged 1 at Cefn in the town of Cletterwood in the civil parish of Buttington. John's occupation recorded as Agricultural Labourer. I have been unable to find his marriage details although I do know that his wife Margarit was born in Brecon.

The 1881 Census for Wales gives us slightly more information and shows the family living at Gelli with John Griffiths as Head aged 40, and a Labourer, place of birth Kerry, Montgomeryshire, this differs from the information given in 1871. Margaret, his wife aged 32, birthplace recorded as Brecknock, Brecon. The children as follows:

John Beavon Griffiths aged 13, scholar born Brecknock.

William Griffiths aged 11, scholar born Buttington.

Charles Griffiths aged 9, scholar born Buttington.

George Griffiths aged 5, scholar born Buttington he was my husband’s Grandfather.

Walter Griffiths aged 2. Source: RG11/5493 pages 7 and 8.

George Griffiths was born Quarter Apr/May/Jun 1876 at Buttington Welshpool Montgomeryshire. On the 1881 census George aged 5 listed as a Scholar remember education only became compulsory in 1880 and was not free until 1891. Welshpool at that time spelt Welchpool. He started his working life as a farm worker from a very early age possibly 13. On the 1891 census at the age of 15 he worked as a farm servant at Burgedin Hall for a farmer named Pryce.

In October 2010 and after years of searching I found George Griffiths British Army Service Records online at www.findmypast.co.uk the National Archives reference W097/499/16. George was 18 at his attestation date which took place on 25th January 1894 with the K.L.S.I. (Kings Shropshire Light Infantry) and his attestation soldier number was 4343. The documentation states that George was 5' 6 1/2" and his occupation recorded as a Labourer.  Next day 26th January aged 18 George started his military career his records show “Home” which probably means that he was stationed at Copthorne Barracks, Shrewsbury which was the home to the KSLI.

From 26th January 1894 until 26th February he was ranked as a Private stationed at “Home” with the KSLI 2nd Battalion. This was for a period of 2 years and 32 days.

At the age of 20 on the 27th February 1896, George was transferred to 1st Battalion and served in India until 21st December 1902 for a period of 6 years and 298 days.  His rank was Private.  This also explains why I could not find George on the 1901 census for Montgomeryshire or Shropshire.

The 22nd December 1902 aged 26 George was recorded as stationed at “Home” until 25th January 1906 with the 1st Battalion KSLI and ranked as Private.

He married Mary Jane Evans on the 12th November 1903 at the English Baptist Chapel Welshpool.  On the 1911 census George aged 35 and Mary Jane where living at 4 Mount Pleasant Cottages, Rhallt, Welshpool. By this time they had 2 daughters, Gladys, Florence and a son Jack.  The family home consisted of 3 rooms and a scully.

On the 6th November 1914 aged 38 George signed up for service in World War 1 and his address at this time was recorded as Brickyard Cottage, Buttington, Welshpool.  Brickyard Cottage had been the home of Mary Jane’s family the Evans’s.  George started his duties on 7th November 1914 with the Territorial Force No: 20031, Local Guards, 7th Batt Royal Welch Fusiliers’ attested to 1 year’s service or the duration of the war rank Private.  He served for 4 years and 21 days attached to the Royal Engineers and Royal Navy attaining the rank of Signal Inspector.

On the 10th April 1915 George was appointed Acting Lance Corporal.  The 18th August 1916 Acting Lance Corporal Griffiths was transferred, unfortunately the writing on the record is illegible.  At the age of 41 on 30th October 1917 he was posted and unfortunately the writing is also illegible.

On the 7th March 1919 he was demobilized his home address at that time recorded as 14 Duke Street.  Interestingly Mary Jane’s address was still given as Brickyard Cottages, Buttington.  It would appear from the records that George applied for a pension.

After his army service, he became a Railway man for forty years. His first appointment was as a Goods Porter at Welshpool. On a copy of the birth certificate issued on 19th August 1933 for the purposes of unemployment for his daughter Jennie born 1917, he was a Corporal R.D.C. No. 15185 with the Royal Defence Corps.  The RDC was formed in 1917 from the Home Service Garrison Battalions of 18 regiments.  It was made up of old soldiers who were beyond the age of service, or those who were not fit for overseas duty.  His main occupation was that of Railway Goods Porter.

 From this we know that in 1933 aged 57 that he was unemployed.  He transferred to Oswestry and later moved to Kerry where he was a Guard for two years; he also worked as a Goods Clerk. Finally, he became a Warehouseman at Oswestry. George worked for fifty-five years.

George and Jane celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary on the 12th November 1953 and their Diamond Wedding anniversary on the 12th November 1963. For many years, they lived at 28 Cambrian Drive Oswestry. George and Jane had three sons and four daughters.

George died 12th January 1967 at 27 Lloyd Street, Oswestry the home of his daughter Jennie Kathleen Leech.

 

 

See newspaper articles of their Golden Wedding in left column.

Mary Jane known as Jane, died on the 6th November, 1966 aged 84, at 8.35 p.m.  at her home 28 Cambrian Drive.  Her daughter J.K. Leech was present at her death and the informant.  The death certificate was issued to her daughter Florence Embrey Hinder of 45 Blackfriars on the 10th November 1966.  Jane was buried on the 10th November at 2.15 p.m. Source: Family birthday book.  When Mary Jane died her husband George was too ill to attend her funeral and as you will see from the date of his death he died within two months of her death.

MARY JANE AND GRANDSON 1948

George died on the 13th January 1967 at 9.45 p.m. aged 90, at his daughter Jennie's home at 27 Lloyd Street Oswestry.  His daughter Jennie was the only person who would have her dad after her mum died.  He was buried on the 18th January 1967 at 3.30 p.m.  Source: Family birthday book.

George and Mary Jane's children

Gladys Beatrice Griffiths born Quarter June 1904 at Forden, Montgomeryshire.  She married William Redvers Speakman in 1926 and they had two children both living.

Florence Embrey Griffiths born 1906 at Forden.  Married Ernie Hinder.  Known as Florrie or to her nieces and nephews as Auntie Dick.  Florrie and Ernie did not have any children.  Auntie Dicks passion was her football and she was a big supporter of Oswestry Town Football Club.  As far as I can remember she often helped with fund raising for the club.

Jack Griffiths born Garnet George Beauchamp Griffiths at Prestwich Lancashire on the 14th June 1908.  Source: GRO Vol 8d, page 353.  At this point I have no idea why he was born in Prestwich as all the other brothers as sisters were born at Forden Nr. Welshpool. 

On 27th Novmeber 1933 Jack arrived back in the United Kingdom aboard the Britanna which belonged to the Anchor Shipping Line, official number 148894.  The port of Departure was Bombay, and the ship sailed to Marseilles and Gibraltar, Jack embarked at Gibraltar.  The country of residence was given as Wales his home address 28 Cambrian drive, Oswestry.  He travelled tourist class and his occupation was given as Bandsman.  This shows that he had enlisted in the Army before WW2 and I know he served in tha war.

Garnet George Beauchamp Griffiths known as Jack Griffiths 1972

He married Jenny and they had no children as far as I am aware they did not marry until the 1950's.  Jenny was a lovely person very gentle and my husband and me use to visit them quite a lot.  Jenny never forgot my children’s birthdays and at Christmas she always gave them a voucher.  Jack liked a pint and could often be found in the bar at the Unicorn Pub in Oswestry.  He died on the 9th November 1987 and he was buried on 16th November at Oswestry.  Source: Family birthday book and GRO Vol 30, Page 184, Reg No. 1187.

Walter Melbourne Griffiths born 19th April 1912 at Forden.  He died February 1988 at Oswestry.  Source: Vol 30, Page 195, Reg No. 288. He was married twice.  He and first wife Cathy had two children Edna and Tommy.  Sadly, Tommy died in his early forties.  They lived in Edinburgh.  When my husband and I first married we did see them quite a bit Mel and Cathy came to our wedding in 1971. When Cathy died, Mel married Margaret and they lived in Oswestry until his death.

George William Griffiths born 7th March 1914 at Forden.  Source Vol 11b, page 286.  He and his first wife Ada had children and lived in Edinburgh.   Bill and Ada celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on the 28th August 1970.  I liked Ada very much she was full of fun I met her twice and she and Bill came to my wedding in August 1971. When Ada died Bill married Jean from Abergele and he lived there until he died.   He died June 1999 at Abergele.  Source: District No: 8111A, Reg No: A107, Ent No 121. Jean is now in a nursing home at Abergele, my father-in-law keeps in touch by telephone a couple of times a year.  Source: Family birthday book. 

The Griffiths's were a family that were at odds with one another although nobody seems to know why.  The greatest compliment I could give Bill would be that of Peacemaker he managed to hold the family members together and acted as mediator.  To the best of my knowledge, he stayed in touch with all the family.

Jennie Kathleen Griffiths born 11th August 1917 at Brickyard Cottage Cletterwood.  She married Reg Leech on the 3rd February 1940 at the time of her marriage aged 22 she lived at home with her parents at 28 Cambrian Drive Oswestry.  Her occupation was Shop Assistant and she gave up work on her marriage to Reg. They had two children, three grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.  Jennie feels that she had a harsh upbringing and the early years of her marriage were tough.  Jennie adored her brothers especially Bill as they grew up together.  She frequently had to share shoes to go to school with her brothers.  At the time, it was considered more important to send her brothers to school than Jennie.  So she could only go when her brothers had new shoes and she had her brothers cast offs.  As a thirteen year old, she often went to stay with her sister Gladys in Formby.  Reg lodged with Gladys before he and Jennie married.  Sadly, her and Gladys became estranged and nobody seems to know why.  However, she always looked up to Gladys and held her in high esteem.  Many times I heard her say how her sister had bought a house and "if Gladys can do it, so can I".   Thankfully, Jennie and Reg were able to contact Gladys's son when they were able to travel and visited occasionally and they are still in touch.  This contact means a lot to both Jennie and Reg.

The photograph below is of Jennie and Reg's wedding from left to right Albert Leech, Reg's brother and Bestman, Joan Griffiths, Jennie's sister and Maid of honour and George Griiffiths, Jennie's father.  Front row Reg and Jennie.

Jennie and Reg's Wedding

 

The photograph below was probably taken in the garden of 28 Cambrian Drive Oswestry in the 1950's.

This photograph of Jennie was taken in York Street when Higgins owned the corner shop.  Taken 1950's.

Edna Joan Griffiths born 23rd May 1923 at Oswestry and known to her family as Joan.  She married three times and to the best of my knowledge had children with two of her husbands.  Her first marriage was to Frederick Valentine Hollingworth born 14th February 1900 at Birkdale in Lancashire known as Val he died c1960.  Joan's second husband Charles Heritage born c1920 and he came from Wiltshire.  Finally, she married Benjamin Wood born c1920 no further details available.  Joan died (details to follow) her children and grandchildren are living in the London area as far as I am aware.  Although my husband remembers Joan because as a young boy he saw quite a lot of her I never met her.