William James GRIFFITHS

Poppy

GRIFFITHS, William James

Service Number: 2566
Enlisted: 15 August 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Stockton, New South Wales, Australia, 1 February 1885
Home Town: Stockton, Newcastle, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of wounds , Villers-Bretonneux, France, 25 June 1918, aged 33 years
Cemetery: Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette
Beacon Cemetery (Plot I, Row I, Grave No. 5), Sailly-Laurette, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, St Paul's Church Stockton HR, Stockton Soldiers Memorial
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World War 1 Service

15 Aug 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2566, 33rd Infantry Battalion
17 Nov 1916: Involvement Private, SN 2566, 33rd Infantry Battalion
17 Nov 1916: Embarked Private, SN 2566, 33rd Infantry Battalion, SS Napier, Sydney
7 Jun 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 2566, 33rd Infantry Battalion, Messines
1 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 2566, 33rd Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres, GSW to right knee, severe

Pte Griffiths DOW report

From Bill Durrant, Australia and NZ in WWI

Unfortunately, he was the tragic victim of an “Own Goal”, when a planned Gas Shoot by Royal Engineers went wrong.

A 33rd Battalion ‘Special Report’ on the Gas-Projector Shoot by the Royal-Engineers at Midnight on the 24th June 1918 gives the explanation of William’s wounding: “A planned gas “shoot” from the Battalion trench lines went ahead at midnight 24/25th. Prior to the discharge all troops were evacuated from the front line, except for the commander and signallers. The projectors were fired at intervals for an hour. A number of projectors fell on our own lines and in the front trench lines to the north causing casualties – killed were 1 officer and 6 other ranks, with 18 evacuated gassed.”

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Private William James Griffiths

From Gary Mitchell, Sandgate Cemetery

101 years ago today, on the 25th June 1918, SN2566 Private William James Griffiths, 33rd Battalion, storeman from Maitland Street, Stockton, New South Wales, died of wounds (gas), age 33.

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1632628

Born at Stockton, New South Wales on the 1st February 1885 to James (died 1897) and Jane (died 1890) Griffiths; husband of Elizabeth Jane G D Griffiths nee Robinson of Hunter Street, Stockton, N.S.W. (married 1906, died?), William, father of two, enlisted August 1916 at Newcastle, N.S.W.

Wounded in action on the 7.6.1917 (Battle of Messines), 1.10.1917 and the 25.6.1918 (gassed).

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140972368

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140972928

William is resting at Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette, France. Plot I Row I Grave 5.

Bill Durrant tells us he was gassed when a Livens-Gas-Projector Shoot by the Royal-Engineers at midnight on the 24th June 1918 went wrong.

Several gas shells fell short onto the Australians (33rd Battalion) in the front trenches. 1 officer and 6 Other-Ranks were Killed, with 18 evacuated gassed.

His name has been inscribed on the Stockton Soldiers' Memorial (unveiled on the 25th April 1922), Stockton St. Paul's Anglican Church Honour Roll and the Book of Gold.

There is no memorial inscription on the family headstone, which has fallen from its mount, so I have placed a memorial cross adorned with poppies on the gravesite, taken a photo of the memorialised grave and uploaded the photo onto the Northern Cemetery website as a permanent record of his service. PRESBYTERIAN-11SE. 24.

http://sandgate.northerncemeteries.com.au/…/war-…/index.php…

http://sandgate.northerncemeteries.com.au/…/war-…/index.php…

An individual Memorial Plaque placed on The Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries (V.C.) and Pte. William Matthew Currey (V.C.) Memorial Wall August 2018, located within the grounds of the cemetery.

Many thanks to Kevin Griffiths and Warwick Newland for the photos and family history.

Photos of the Stockton Soldiers' Memorial taken by Ken Shilling, available from “Remembrance” CD, at the Newcastle Family History Society.

Lest We Forget.

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Showing 2 of 2 stories

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

‎From Gary Mitchell‎, Sandgate Cemetery

Awaiting memorialisation at Sandgate Cemetery.

102 years ago today, on the 25th June 1918, Private William James Griffiths, 33rd Battalion, storeman from Maitland Street, Stockton, New South Wales, father of two (John W (Jack) and Mabel), died of wounds (gas), age 33.
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1632628
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1488195

Born at Stockton, New South Wales on the 1st February 1885 to James (died 1897) and Jane (died 1890) Griffiths; husband of Elizabeth Jane G D Griffiths nee Robinson of Hunter Street, Stockton, N.S.W. (married 1906, died?), William enlisted August 1916 at Newcastle, N.S.W.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133846236
Wounded in action - 7.6.1917 (wound not stated, Battle of Messines), 1.10.1917 (GSW right thigh, severe - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138738523), 25.6.1918 (gassed) -http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140972368
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140972928

Bill Durrant tells us he was gassed at Villers-Bretonneux when a Livens-Gas-Projector Shot by the Royal-Engineers at midnight on the 24th June 1918 went wrong.

Several gas shells fell short onto the Australians (33rd Battalion) in the front trenches. 1 officer and 6 Other-Ranks were Killed, with 18 evacuated gassed.

William is now resting at Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette, France. Plot I Row I Grave 5.

His name has been inscribed on the Stockton Soldiers' Memorial, Stockton St. Paul's Anglican Church Honour Roll and the Book of Gold.

There is no memorial inscription on the family headstone, which has fallen from its mount, so I have placed a memorial cross adorned with poppies on the gravesite, taken a photo of the memorialised grave and uploaded the photo onto the Northern Cemetery website as a permanent record of his service. PRESBYTERIAN-11SE. 24.
http://sandgate.northerncemeteries.com.au/index.php/war-heroes/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&aso=exact&s_f=id&data_search=5728#photo-1
An individual Memorial Plaque placed on The Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries (V.C.) and Pte. William Matthew Currey (V.C.) Memorial Wall August 2018, located within the grounds of the cemetery.

Many thanks to Kevin Griffiths and Warwick Newland for the photos and family history.
Lest We Forget.

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