IN LOVING MEMORY OF THOMAS HENRY, AGED 2 DAYS. ROBERT, AGED 4 MONTHS. LLEWELYN, WHO DIED JULY 12TH, 1901, AGED 4 YEARS. THE BELOVED CHILDREN OF JAMES AND M. E. GRIFFITHS OF THIS TOWN. ALSO WILLIAM, SON OF THE ABOVE, 55TH. DIV. M.F.A. KILLED AT BETHUNE 1918, AGED 24 YEARS. ALSO THE SAID MARGARET E. GRIFFITHS, DIED NOV 2, 1936, AGED 60 YEARS. RIP. ALSO THE SAID JAMES GRIFFITHS, DIED AUG 8, 1955, AGED 80 YEARS.Transcription
At first glance you would think 6 people are buried in this grave, but in fact there are only 3.
James Griffiths was born in Pentre Broughton on 30 March 1875, he was the son of William Griffiths a coal miner and Maria Phoenix who were both from the same area, and sadly in 1886 his father was killed in a coal mining accident.
In 1891 James was in Far Moor, Upholland, Lancashire. He was staying with his brother in law Richard Davies from Mold and his sister Mary A Davies, also there was their brother Thomas H. The men were all working as coal miners.
In 1893 James married Margaret Ellen Brown at St Peter`s in West Leigh. By 1901 they were living in Barnfield, Wrexham . James still a coal miner, they had 2 sons born in Leigh, William 6, Llewellyn 3 and a daughter Ethel Mary aged 10 months who had been born in Wrexham.
The family moved to Clayton Villas, Rhosddu by 1911. The census shows they had 9 children born alive, but 3 had died. The others were Thomas Henry, aged 2 days, he had his birth and death registered in June qtr 1893 in Prescot. Robert died in 1896 in the same district. This was before they moved to Wrexham.
The third child they lost was Llewellyn who died 12 July 1901 aged 4. He was buried in Wrexham Cemetery. James was still a coal miner and his son William was a pony driver. They now had 4 more children Ernest 8, Maria 5, Violet Lily 4 and John aged 1, In the census entry for which language they speak , James had entered for John, that he speaks none yet !
James and Maria had two more sons, James in 1912, and Douglas Haig in 1917, both born in Wrexham, but in 1915 another son Gerald Lloyd was born in St Helens, he sadly died there in August 1916 and was brought back to be buried with his brother Llewellyn.
Tragedy struck the family again, their son William had joined the South Lancs. Regt, but later he had enlisted at St Helens and was a private with the Machine Gun Corps battalion. He died of wounds on 19 March 1918 at Béthune, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. He was only 24, William is buried Lapugnoy Military Cemetery. His name is remembered on the grave in Wrexham.
Margaret Ellen died in November 1936 in St Helens; she was 60 and was also brought to Wrexham to be buried with her two young sons. The last name on the headstone is that of James Griffiths her husband.
James had enlisted in 1914 at St Helens to the Royal Engineers Signal company, it`s not known if he served overseas.
In 1939 James was in St Helens, he was still working in the mines below ground. He was also a full time A.R.P. Warden, his son Gerald is still at home and he is single.
James died 8 August 1955 aged 80, he was cremated at Liverpool and is the last name on the family grave.
What Margaret Ellen never knew was she lost another son. Douglas Haig was living in Wrexham in 1939; he was in Saxon Street and working as a butcher’s assistant. The next year he married Alice Margaret Whitting who was living in Wrexham.
Douglas Haig joined the Monmouthshire Regiment and was a Private in the Infantry. He was killed on 5 August 1944 at Caen, in Normandy he was only 26. His widow Alice never remarried; she died in 1992 and is buried with her parents. Douglas Haig is remembered on their gravestone in Wrexham.
Researched by Annette Edwards. July 2019.
Many thanks to Cynthia Griffiths Cotter, for the use of the Griffiths photos.
Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery A-00114