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      Minor changes to the Forum   12/12/17

      We have altered the structure of the Home Fronts and Uniforms, Arms, Insignia, Equipment & Medals boards. We have removed the sub-category headings and now each board is more visible and easier to find. We have also renamed "About this website" and "Using theTechnology" to make it clearer where to post questions about the GWF website. We have also put a link ot the forum Rules on the main menu at the top to make them easier to find - particularly the section regarding requesting look ups on subscription sites such as Ancestry. Finally, for those who visit Skindles, there is a pinned post there detailing some changes to it.   Regards The GWF Admin Team
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Christine Griffiths

Private J Griffiths

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Christine Griffiths

Hello

i was recently given this photo of my Uncle John born 28 September 1899. He was originally in the King’s Liverpool King’s Regiment then Northants. He died 23 August 1918. I’m interested first of all in his uniform was this just one owned by the photography studio, and are his medals available to view ? This is my first post! Thanks

A027538D-B9A0-4A85-B7ED-B199653AF33F.jpeg

 

0792ECB1-EE2E-40F6-963E-69E6EE2A1A0D.jpeg

Edited by Christine Griffiths
Didn’t mean to add this

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HolymoleyRE

Hi Christine, not wanting to throw you a curve ball, but I will anyway.

 

The man in the main photo seems to me to be a Royal Engineer.....?

 

Regards 

 

Andy

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IPT

Are you sure it's the same fellow?  They don't look much alike.

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PRC

That's an odd uniform for someone either training in the UK or serving in France - and the Cap Badge looks more Royal Engineers than either Kings Liverpool or Northamptonshire Regiment. As you say it could have been a uniform they had in the photographers studio, but unlikely - impersonating a soldier or obtaining Army use equipment was a criminal offence. Are you sure its not one of the brothers referred to in the newspaper article?

 

I'm assuming "Griffith" in the newspaper article is a typo,  and that all the other details tie up.

 

Have you checked Ancestry or FindMyPast to see if his service records have survived - sadly many were destroyed during the Blitz. If they do, (although they may be in a scorched or water damaged state), they will usually contain a reply slip signed by his next of kin confirming receipt of his medals, (which if nothing else gives you a family autograph!). It will also, if it survived, contain Army Form W.5080. In order to claim war medals (and the war gratuity awarded to those who served in a Theatre of War), these were issued by the Army to the last known next of kin, asking for details of all family members who were then still alive. The forms layouts follows the order of precedence of inheritance , so starting with wife it works through children, parents and then siblings, all with ages and addresses.  Many of these forms were completed and returned during 1919, so its not uncommon to see brothers listed as still serving and the unit they were serving with. (With a name like Griffiths and coming from Liverpool, it may be difficult to establish otherwise which units they were serving with - especially if it was with the Royal Engineers). Sadly if the family has lost track of the medals then the originals have probably gone. A quick check online doesn't show any instance of then coming up for sale. Replica's are available for sale and there are plenty of images on line of the medal types.

 

Most UK libraries will offer free access to either Ancestry or FindMyPast if you don't already subscribe - and both sites offer a free introductory period.

 

There is not a lot of face to go on in the main picture, but could be a family resemblance - particularly if the newspaper picture was of a 14 year old school leaver versus a young man of 18 and a half after a period of army training.

 

I'm sure you're aware he was buried at Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, on the Somme, in Grave I.B.4

https://www.cwgc.org/search-for-war-dead/casualty/43473/

 

The 5th Battalion were Divisional Pioneers, so not routinely engaged in the front-line fighting, although there are many stories of heroic acts performed by such units being thrown in to stop an enemy break-through or form a quick local counter-attack.

 

For a small fee the units war diary for the whole period of the conflict can be downloaded from the National Archive, (or viewed for free if your are a member of Ancestry).

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352657

It almost certainly won't mention him by name, and as a Pioneer unit it will probably be very spartan. However, as he  had only been in France 5 months, (to quote the newspaper article), you will probably be able to identify when he joined the unit and then follow his units progress up until the day of his death.

 

Hope some of that helps, (and welcome to the forum :-)

 

Peter

 

Edited by PRC
Typo

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Christine Griffiths

Thanks very much everyone!

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kenf48

You will have noted his medals were returned (King’s Regulations 1743 etc on the card). It may be possible for the next of kin to claim them.

 

See this thread for how to go about it.

Ken 

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