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  #1  
Old 26-03-2017, 05:21 PM
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Default Who was William Griffiths?

Here's a medal that has come my way. To a soldier in the local battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Not having much luck pinning down who he is. (As is often the case)

We can assume in April 1915 he was aged between 19 and 41 and he lived somewhere between Wansbeck and Berwick. (Unless he lied about his age and was younger)

According to his medal index card he sailed with the originals to France on the 21st April 1915, and his christian name was William.

He survived the war, but another man, with the same name in the same battalion, didn't.




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  #2  
Old 26-03-2017, 05:53 PM
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Perhaps not as bad as first thought. Putting a filter on for age I'm left with four options for this man on the 1911 census Two at Bedlington, and two at East Chevington.


[There is a risk here in that he might have arrived in the area after 1911]

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Old 26-03-2017, 05:55 PM
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Surviving the war, if he was from East Chevington, he should be on the absent voters list on the other website, which he is not.
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Old 26-03-2017, 06:04 PM
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So I am down to two options, 2 and 4 in the list above? No. 4 is probably too old and has a middle name. Most likely is no. 2.
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Old 26-03-2017, 06:25 PM
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Next step I suppose is a trip to Woodhorn to look at the Bedlington 1918 absent voters list to see if it is this man. Thing is, some of the lists are missing for that area.
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Old 26-03-2017, 11:13 PM
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This is the likely individual:

William Griffiths, 27, son of William and Marth(a) Griffiths, 4 Walker's Terrace, Havelock?, Bedlington. Coal Miner (Hewer) Ancestry page


Curiously, a set of service papers exist for a 30 year old (in 1915) William Griffiths from Bedlington. He joins the Tyneside Scottish but he is discharged in Feb 1915, 'not likely to become an efficient soldier', cause is a compound fracture of the fibula and tibia, and caries. Initially I wondered if it could be the same man, as there does not appear to be any other options for a second William Griffiths in the 1911 census. I then noticed this chap was married Jan 1911. As the census, which was taken on the 2nd April 1911 has him as single, this must be a different man. BUT........Going to the actual marriage index his marriage is actually in 1912. So the army service papers have the wrong year for his marriage.

So.. the possibility that these papers are the same man as the medal is back on. Could he be recovered from a broken leg in time to join the 7th Btn and be shipped off 21st April?? that seems unlikely, but if so why is there not a second William Griffiths in the 19111 census?


Some of the Ancestry users are linking the 1911 census Griffiths with the army service papers Griffiths in their family trees.
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Old 27-03-2017, 11:29 AM
janwhin janwhin is offline
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Would a person have to be on the AVL in 1918?

William Griffiths at East Chevington, was born 1894 and married in 1918. He was living in Amble on the 1939 register.

The alternative William, your number 2, born 1883 and married 1912 is living in East Sleekburn at the 1939 register, a labourer.
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Old 27-03-2017, 11:53 AM
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East Chevington William Griffiths was caught at the Drift playing pitch and toss in September 1918, so unlikely he is a candidate. Back to your Bedlington man I think!
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Old 27-03-2017, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
East Chevington William Griffiths was caught at the Drift playing pitch and toss in September 1918, so unlikely he is a candidate. Back to your Bedlington man I think!
I'll check him out at Woodhorn. Fingers crossed that is that the AVL for Bedlington still exists. If not then he will always be an unproven 'maybe'.
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  #10  
Old 29-10-2020, 07:30 PM
Hadston-Green Hadston-Green is offline
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Default Red Row William Griffiths

This is a death in 1918 in Red Row/East Chevington of a William Griffiths
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File Type: jpg CA4694C7-7110-4178-9489-C9091EA9DA01.jpg (52.1 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by Hadston-Green; 29-10-2020 at 07:34 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2020, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadston-Green View Post
This is a death in 1918 in Red Row/East Chevington of a William Griffiths

Sorry for the delay.
Since starting this thread a new archive source related to WW1 soldiers has become available; 'Pension Record Cards and Ledgers' The Western Front Association (WFA) is digitising these, allegedly 55% complete. The WFA has also given them to 'Ancestry' (via their 'Fold 3' site ) but at an extra charge to the normal ancestry subscription.

Now. Regarding William Griffiths. His medal index card only shows one service number: 7/2259. I've mentioned in the past territorial soldiers were renumbered in 1917. The medal roll itself does show his new number: 290319

Searching the new pension records does produce a result for Griffiths; there's not a great deal of information on the card, but we do have an address for the man: "82 Hartside Terrace, Chevington Drift".
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File Type: jpg pension card.jpg (71.1 KB, 7 views)
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:47 PM
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The 1918 death you have found for a William Griffiths (age 40) from the Drift tells me our soldier is not that man - why? because I'm convinced the death would be recorded on the pension card.
So I'm down to one option - the c1895 born Griffiths.

If this is correct it's possible our William Griffiths is living in Amble on the Wynd in 1939, a miner, married to Joanna, with perhaps 4 children (some of the entries are redacted) the youngest, Doreen Griffiths marrying a Leck in 1948?
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:58 PM
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The fact that our man is not on the absent voters' list, and his 1917 number is not on the medal index card suggests he was out of a theatre of war perhaps before early 1917. I would bet he got out 'time expired' - and who can blame him?
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:03 PM
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William had an older brother- Thomas - probably the Griffiths that is on the Absent voters list for East Chevington. Served 2/4th West Riding Regiment. He's in hospital with a gun shot wound in 1917. A miner living at 51 Simonside Terrace on 1939 Register:

Thomas Griffiths 14 Nov 1891 Male Colliery Hewer (Below) Married
Emily Griffiths 26 Oct 1892 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married
Thomas W Griffiths 01 Oct 1917 Male Colliery Putter (Below) Single
Ada C Moir (Griffiths) 08 Aug 1921 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Single
Irene Callaghan (Griffiths) 21 Aug 1924 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Single
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2020, 03:13 PM
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The mother of these two boys was Elizabeth A Griffiths, (born c1873) Monkey Island
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:23 AM
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It does say "Monkey Island". Wh'd have thought it.
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Old 15-11-2020, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
It does say "Monkey Island". Wh'd have thought it.
Did we discover why it was called that? Do we have a local 'monkey hanger' story?
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Old 16-11-2020, 04:18 PM
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Monkey islands seem to pop up everywhere. There's one in the River Blyth, one in the Bristol Channel

Story in the Blyth News, 4 July 1891:

"Drowning in the Coquet

A young man named Dover Stewart was rowing down the Coquet near Warkworth Harbour on Saturday afternoon, when his coble capsized, and he was thrown into the river. A man, named Smith, residing at Monkey Island, observing the accident, immediately put off in a boat, and after some difficulty, succeeded in bringing the unfortunate fellow to land, when messengers were at once despatched for assistance. PC Nicholson was soon on the spot, and made every endeavour to restore animation, assisted by willing members of the St John Ambulance Association. Dr J T Hancock was the first medical man to reach the scene of the accident, and he, after a careful examination, pronounced life extinct. Dr Forrest who arrived a few minutes later, gave a similar decision. Much sympathy is expressed with the relatives of the deceased, who was nearly killed in an accident at Broomhill Colliery a few months ago."
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Old 16-11-2020, 04:24 PM
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The word is that the one on the Blyth was so named because ships used to dump their ballast there and on one occasion the remains of a monkey was deposited as well. Could be......
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