John Griffin was born in Dudley and he enlisted before 1914 in the regular army. At the outbreak of war he was married to Eliza Griffin of 6 Court, 1 Swan Street, Dudley and serving in the Worcesters in the 3rd Battalion in the British Expeditionary Force. They were in action for the opening Battle of Mons on the 23rd August 1914, on the Aisne in September and spent the winter of 1915 in Artois. In June 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres they attacked the Bellewaerde ridge and in the Spring of 1916 they were at Vimy ridge. They moved to the Somme area for Haig's big push of 1916 and John Griffin had been promoted to Sergeant in D Company. They remained in reserve for the famous 'first day' but on 3rd July moved into Aveluy Wood with orders to attack the notorious Leipzig Salient protecting the approaches to Thiepval. British forces had broken through the first line of German trenches but had failed against its complex fortifications. Two companies of the Worcesters were ordered to fight their way up the steep wooded slopes of the river Ancre under intense artillery and heavy machine gun fire, and held on for four days. Another attack was then made on the neighbouring village of Ovillers when a vital part was played by Lieutenant James Mould, a Dudley officer who was awarded the DSO. In August the Worcesters returned to the Leipzig salient and on the 24th led an assault on the enemy trenches. In close quarters combat there were heavy casualties, one of whom was Sergeant John Griffin who was killed on the 25th August. He was 27 years of age and is buried in Serre Road No. 2 Cemetery (XXVII D 7) and commemorated on the Dudley Memorial.
Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley
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