21-year-old George Alfred Griffin died of wounds on 14th September 1915 at the 2nd London Casualty Clearing Station, Merville, France. He was serving as a Rifleman with 12th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and is commemorated locally on war memorials at Hockley Heath and Lapworth.
His parents, George Alfred (a bricklayer’s labourer) and Amy (née Wagstaff), were married in Allesley in 1892 at the ages of 20 and 18 respectively. Their eldest child, Emily, was baptised in Allesley in 1892 but by 1894, when George Alfred (junior) was born, the family had moved to Lapworth and seem to have remained in Wharf Lane, Lapworth until at least 1911. By the time of the 1911 census, George and Amy were recorded as having had eight children in their 18-year-marriage, of whom three had already died and five were still alive.
16-year-old George Alfred and his 18-year-old sister, Emily, were not living with their parents in 1911 – both were living at the Royal Oak pub in High Street, Solihull, where George was working as a “billiard marker etc.” and Emily was a housemaid. The landlord of the pub was Colin Walton.
Two years later, George Alfred married Mary Durkin, and she is listed as his sole legatee in the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, available on the Ancestry website (free of charge from library computers). Mary remarried after George’s death, marrying James E Baker in 1917. By the early 1920s, she was living in Poppy Cottages, Stratford Road, Shirley.
If you have any further information on the Griffin family, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977