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John (Jack) Reuben Griffin (1883-1957)

Man from Hull served with 2nd/6th DLI won DCM during the '100 Days Offensive'

John Reuben Griffin (also known as Jack) , the son of John Brown and Ann Elizabeth Griffin, was born in Hull early in 1883. He had five brothers and a sister and, apart from his military service, appears to have lived all his life in Hull. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment at Hull on 5 May 1897 but was later discharged. On 2 April 1911 he married Rose Lilian Spencer and they had four children.

On 5 August 1914 he re-enlisted in the 1st/4th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment and on 17 April 1915 he landed in France. He was wounded on 22 December and repatriated on 3 January 1916. On 1 March 1917 he was promoted to lance-corporal and six weeks later was promoted to corporal. On 10 April 1918 he was transferred to the 2nd/6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and arrived back in France on 5 May 1918, when he was promoted to sergeant. In August, during the ‘100 Days Offensive, he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).

His wife died on 5 November 1918 and he was given special leave, returning to England on 11 November 1918. He was demobilised on 30 January 1919. In 1921 he married Elizabeth Smale and in 1939 was living back in Hull, where he died on 18 August 1957.

His award of the DCM was gazetted on 3 September 1919 and the citation reads:

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He went out with a battle patrol on the night of 22nd August and occupied an important post in front of our line in No Mans’ Land, near Mercatel. During the whole of the forty hours the post was occupied he greatly assisted in the post being held until an attack was launched through the battalion by another division on the 24th August, after which the patrol was called in. His soldierly conduct and unselfish devotion to duty was a fine example to all around him’.

Encyclopedia of the First World War, page on Hundred Days Offensive:

Birth date: 3-Jan-1883

Death date: 18-Aug-1957

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 14 Anvils Terrace, Myton, Hull, East Yorkshire (1891 census)
94 Flinton Street, Hessle, Hull (1911 census)
64 West Dock Avenue, Hessle Road, Hull (British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920)
8 Campion Avenue, Kingston-upon-Hull (1939 Register)
8 Campion Avenue, Kingston-upon-Hull (England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995

Employment: Dock Labourer (1911 census)
House Painter (British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920)
Foreman coal trimmer (1939 Register)

Family: Father: John Brown Griffin
Mother: Ann Elizabeth Griffin (nee Trowhell)
Siblings: Thomas William, Albert, James, Richard, Charles William & Annie Elizabeth
Wives: Rose Lilian Griffin (nee Spencer & Elizabeth Griffin (nee Smale)
Children: Charles William, Annie, John Reuben & Rose Lilian

Military service:

1st Battalion Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment
1st/4th East Yorkshire Regiment
2nd/6th Bttalion Durham Light Infantry
Regimental numbers: 4/2012 & 376387

Medal(s): Distinguished Conduct Medal
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards

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