Charles William GRIFFIN (1887–1917)
Charles William Griffin was born at Boars Hill in 1887, the son of Charles Henry Griffin and Mary Ann Ayris. His parents were married at St Bartholomew’s Church, Ducklington on 11 October 1885 and had five children:
- Albert W. Ayris (born in 1881 in Great Haseley before his mother’s marriage, but later appears to be acknowledged as her future husband’s son)
- Emily Griffin (born in spring 1886 at Boars Hill, Wootton, died aged 2 weeks and buried at St Peter’s Church on 15 April 1886)
- Charles William Griffin (born in 1887 at Boars Hill, Wootton, registered second quarter, and baptised at St Peter’s Church, Wootton on 22 May 1887)
- Sophia Ann Griffin (born in 1890 at Boars Hill, Wootton, registered fourth quarter, and privately baptised at St Peter’s Church, Wootton on 13 November 1890)
- Sarah Emily Griffin (born in 1893 at Boars Hill, Wootton, registered second quarter, and privately baptised at St Peter’s Church, Wootton on 5 June 1893).
After their marriage Charles’s parents initially lived at Wootton with his paternal grandparents, Charles Griffin and his wife Sophia; the latter died at the age of 48 and was buried at St Peter’s Church on 9 January 1881. Charles’s father was a labourer, and is sometimes described as a carter and sometimes as a shepherd; and his mother worked variously as a laundress and a charwoman while bringing up her children.
At the time of the 1891 census, when Charles was four years old, the family was living at Middleway, Wootton, and both his father and grandfather were working as shepherds. The family’s address is given as West’s Cottage in Wootton in the baptismal register in 1893.
In the 1901 census the family’s address is recorded as Boars Hill. Charles (14) was now working as an under-carter on a farm. His grandfather was no longer living with them, and died at Abingdon soon after the census at the age of 66 and was buried at St Peter’s Church on 9 July 1901.
Charles William Griffin married Mabel Messer (born in Woodeaton in 1888, registered second quarter), a domestic servant, at St Lawrence’s Church, Besselsleigh on 28 March 1910, and they had two children:
- William Henry Griffin (born at the Old Pound, Wootton on 6 February 1910 and baptised at at St Peter’s Church on 28 March 1910; died when a few weeks old)
- Herbert Charles Griffin (born at the Old Pound, Wootton on 17 December 1913 and baptised at St Peter’s Church on 25 January 1914).
At the time of the 1911 census Charles (24) was living with his wife Mabel at The Pound, Wootton and was working as a cowman on a farm. His parents were now living at Little Bradley Farm, Besselsleigh: his father was working as a shepherd, and his mother and sister Sarah as laundresses. When his second son was baptised in 1914 Charles was described as a labourer and he was living at Boars Hill Lane, Wootton.
In the First World War Charles William Griffin enlisted at Abingdon and served as a Gunner in the 66th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery (Service No. 65023), and died of pneumonia in Mesopotamia on 15 January 1918. He is buried in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery (Grave I. C. 1). He is remembered on the war memorial outside St Peter’s Church at Wootton.
Griffin’s widow put the following announcement in the Oxford Times of 19 January 1919:
In ever-loving memory of my dear husband Charles William Griffin of 15 Church Street, St Ebbes, Oxford,
(Late of Wootton Berks) who died in Mesopotamia of Pneumonia January 15, 1918. “Gone but not forgotten”
Charles William Griffin’s parents
- Charles Henry Griffin was born at Boars Hill in 1859 (registered second quarter) and baptised at St Peter’s Church on 8 May 1859. He died at Wootton at the age of 63 and was buried at St Peter’s Church on 13 November 1922.
- Mary Ann Ayris (Mrs Charles Henry Griffin) was born at Ducklington in 1858 (registered second quarter).
His surviving son
- The Herbert Charles Griffin who married Agnes S. D. Wheatley in the Wallingford registration district in the third quarter of 1946 is likely to be Griffin’s son of that name.
- Sophia Ann Griffin married Arthur J. Cox in the Abingdon registration district in the fourth quarter of 1910
- Sarah Emily Griffin married Bertie Dunsby in the Abingdon registration district in the first quarter of 1914. They had two children registered in the Abingdon district: Gilbert Dunsby (third quarter of 1914) and Percival M. Dunsby (second quarter of 1916).