Sunday, January 15, 2017

11976 Pte John Edward Griffiths, 10th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

11976 Private John Edward Griffiths was a patient at Beechland House in 1916.  His entry in Nurse Oliver’s album reads:

Pte J E Griffiths
11796
West Riding Regt
Gassed at Plugstreet

Aug 29/16

Private Griffiths shares this page with 486742 Sapper Arthur Bee of the 470th Field Company, Royal Engineers.

John Griffiths was born in 1885 and - judging by his regimental number - almost certainly enlisted around 8th September 1914.  11794 Arthur Dunkerley certainly enlisted on this date, and with a number just two digits greater, it seems a good bet that John Griffiths did too. Nevertheless, he certainly didn't go overseas until 1916 as his medal index card indicates that he only received the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

It is uncertain from John's autograph entry and the scant surviving information regarding his war service, whether he was gassed on the 29th August 1916 or whether that was the date of his entry in Nurse Oliver’s album.  The medal roll entry notes that John served with the 10th West Riding Regiment which formed part of the 69th Brigade in the 23rd Division.

After he had recuperated at Beechland House he was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and later discharged from its 21st Battalion on 2nd May 1918.  This suggests that he was a casualty for a second time.  By this stage he also had a new regimental number – 66280 - which would have been issued after March 1917.


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