Jack GRIFFITHS
Rank: Bombardier
Number: 610
Unit: Welch Division Ammunition Column ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 23 November 1916
Age: 21
Cemetery: Guards Cemetery, Les Boeufs, Somme, France

Jack was the son of William Griffiths – the owner of the Albion Hotel at 31 Little Underbank, Stockport. He had attended Portwood Wesleyan School and, later, Stockport Commercial School. Reporting his death, the Cheshire Daily Echo, in its edition of 13 December 1916, described him as “standing 5 feet 10 inches in height and broad in proportion, he was as fine a specimen of British manhood as one could wish to see.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jack was a fine sportsman. His favoured team game was polo and he was vice-captain of the Stockport senior team and had won the Bellamy cup twice. He’d played at Cheshire County level and also at England level. He had also studied at Stockport Sunday School and had played for its cricket and football teams. Jack was also a keen swimmer and was vice-chairman of the town’s Swimming Club where he also took part in water polo competitions. He enlisted into the army in May 1915 and, whilst in training at Chester, won a medal in an army competition.

Jack’s commemoration by the War Graves Commission records his unit as above. The army had two “Welsh” or “Welch” Divisions – the 38th and the 53rd. Jack must have served with the 38th Division as the 53rd did not serve in France. A Divisional Ammunition Column comprised 500 men who would transport artillery shells between the stores in the reserve areas to the field guns a little way behind the front line. They used about 100 horse drawn wagons for transport. Although not as dangerous as being an infantryman in the front line, it was not risk free. The enemy artillery would target supply roads for regular shelling in the hope of destroying the road surfaces and generally disrupting the supply lines. Jack and two comrades were killed when a shell landed in the midst of the Column.

   
           
   
     
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