Alfred Griffiths was born as one of seven children (five brothers and two daughters) to Francis and Ellen Griifiths in Llanyblodwell in 1883.
According to the 1901 census when 17 years of age he was living and working in Nantmawr as a limestone quarryman alongside his father and elder brother Francis at Llandu Quarry, Llanyblodwell.
In 1909 he married Elizabeth Alice Keeler with whom he already had a son of 1yr called George Alfred. By 1911 he was living in Corner House, Llanyblodwell with his wife and three children, George now 3, daughter Elizabeth Ann Daisy 17months and new born Walter William. They were to have two further children after this time Maud and Edith Ellen.
Alfred's death as reported below was to have a devastating effect on the family. In recent conversation with Alfred's Grandson we have learnt that as a widow Elizabeth could not cope with her husbands death, her impending poverty and the thought of bringing up the children alone. Sadly she deserted them and the children were brought up by Alfred's parents at Offa House in Treflach.
Military Record including Regimental and Battalion Information
Like so many soldiers of the time very little of his war record exists however we do know Alfred Griffiths enlisted around January 1915 with the 6th Battalion Kings Shropshire Light Infantry,
A war-raised Service Battalion, formed in Shrewsbury in September 1914, posted to the 60th Brigade of the 20th Division. It landed at Boulogne on 22nd and 23rd July 1915 after what is termed in the Battalion War Diaries as a "rough crossing" and then served entirely on the Western Front.
The 6th fought at Loos in September 1915, around Ypres in 1916 (where it relieved the 1st Battalion) and then on the Somme, including the capture of Guillemont (see below)
Alfred entered the Western Front on 24th July 1915 where the Battalion made their way to near St Omer. Alfred was in the Bomb Throwers section and by the 26th they had travelled by motor bus to begin a 10 day bomb throwing course attached to the 8th Division. It would seem after training the troops entered the trenches for the first time on August 9th and were to lose their first soldier to enemy fire on the 13th August. Alfred's time with the battalion included fighting at Loos, Ypres and finally the Somme where he was wounded at the end of August 1916. The Battalion diaries record that the Battalion were relieved on the 1st September with 52 soldiers being treated for the effects of gas and bad feet caused by the very wet weather they had endured in August.
It is not known if Alfred was one of those injured by the gas but after their four day stint in the trenches near Trones Wood it would seem he was evacuated to Britain and taken to New Brighton Hospital.
Alfred's family were informed of his hospitalization by telegram and hurried to New Brighton to be at his bedside where he passed away on 5th September 2016.
His daughter Elizabeth Annie Daisy who died in 1918 aged just 9 is also buried with Alfred.
He is remembered on both the Trefonen and the Llanyblodwell Village Memorial's
Memorial and War Grave Information
Private Alfred Griffiths
16576 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry
died of his wounds on September 5th 1916 in hospital in New Brighton and is buried in Llanyblodwell Churchyard. A report in the Liverpool Echo regarding his funeral is attached below.