GRIFFITH, Gerald

Lieutenant, 1st. Bn., Hampshire Regiment.

Born

Son of Patrick Gill Griffith and Ellen Josephine Griffith, of "Three Gables", Walton-on-Thames.

Education

Blundell’s School, “Westlake”, from the age of 14.
September 1907 – Summer 1910.
He was comparatively young when he left school but had reached the Upper Sixth and took part, with some success, at cricket, football and music.
In October 1913 he went to live at the school mission in Rotherhithe and threw himself, heart and soul, into the work among the boys there. He took a foremost part in the organisation of games, running and athletics and just before he left, he presented a challenge cup for long distance running. Only a short time before war broke out he was back at Blundell’s to make arrangements for the scout’s camp which was to have been pitched in one of the school fields.

Service

On leaving school he joined the Special Reserve of Officers and was attached to the Hampshire Regiment while he was at Rotherhithe. When war was declared he was attached to the first battalion of his regiment and less than three weeks afterwards was sent to the front. At Cambrai on 26 August 1914 he was wounded; shot through the ankle, leg and in the body.  He was able to send home a message that he was “wounded but not too badly.” During the retirement he had to be left in the trenches and it was hoped that he would have fallen into the hands of the Germans as a Prisoner of war. 

Death

26 August 1914.
After he was left, nothing further was ever heard of him; he was posted missing, and subsequently declared dead aged 21. He was the first Blundellian to be lost in the war. 

Burial/Commemoration

He has no known grave and so is commemorated at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

Memorial

La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial on the south bank of the River Marne, just off the main road to Paris.

Medals Awarded

 - British War Medal: This silver medal was issued to Army personnel who either entered a theatre of war on duty or who left their place of residence and rendered approved service overseas.
 - Victory Medal: This bronze medal was issued to all those who served in a theatre of war between 5th August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was never issued singly, but always with the British War Medal.
 - 1914 Star with clasp: This was awarded by British authorities to those who served with the British in France or Belgium between the outbreak of war in August 1914 and 22/23 November 1914. It became known as the Mons Star. Since the same ribbon is used with the 1914-15 Star, holders of the earlier award were permitted to wear a small silver rosette on their ribbon when the decoration itself is not worn. On the medal index cards this is usually noted as the "Clasp".

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Record Office, National Archives, Kew WO339/8559 and Medal Rolls: WO372/8 23505
“The Blundellian”
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.5209
Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

 

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