The AIF Project

Reginald Theodore GRIFFEN

Date of birth8 April 1892
Place of birthRiverton, South Australia
SchoolRiverton Public School, South Australia
ReligionBaptist
OccupationClerk
AddressRiverton, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 10.5"
Weight165 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Elizabeth Griffen, Riverton, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 June 1915
Place of enlistmentKeswick, South Australia
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name32nd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 25 March 1916
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot III, Row C, Grave No 4), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
120
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Riverton General Cemetery, South Australia. Parents: John Payne and Elizabeth GRIFFEN, Riverton, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2863 Pte Oswald Clement GRIFFEN, 50th Bn, killed in action, 2 April 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength of 32 Bn as supernumerary to establishment, Ferry Post, 24 May 1916; absorbed into strength, Moascar, 31 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 19 July 1916; posted missing, 20 July 1916; struck off strength, 20 October 1916.

Court of Inquiry, held in the field, 12 August 1916, pronounced fate as 'killed in action, 20 July 1916'.

Statement on Red Cross File No 1220401 from 216 Pte F.G. WRIGHT, 32nd Bn, 4 August 1916: 'I was in the advance at Fleurbaix on 19th July and next morning in our billet Sergt. Harrington told me that Lieut. Griffen had been killed, shot through the head as he was coming back early in the morning of the 20th.'

Statement from 3061 Pte R.R. CLARK, 32nd Bn, 1 August 1916: 'I saw Lieut. Griffin (sic) in the German trenches, we had taken, and I brought a message back from him to the Adjutant. Pte Wright (now in Edmonton Hospital) told me he saw Griffen shot through the head and killed.'

Statement from 2002 Pte S.K. COOKS, 32nd Bn, 13 October 1916: 'He belonged to A. Co. and was killed at Fleurbaix on 19.7.16. Sgt. A. Errington, A. Co. was with him when he was shot through the head and killed outright. This occurred during the change on the night of the 19th.'

Statement from 2598 M.R. DOBIE, 31 October 1916: 'Informant states that on July 19th, 1916 at Armentieres, Lt. Griffen was shot through the head and fell between our lines and the Germans' which were about 800 yards apart. It was about 6 o'clock in the evening, andwe never reached our objective. Informant heard that the Germans fetched no man in that day, and it was given out that Lieut. Griffen was killed. It was to the right of Armentieres.'

Statement from 2644 Pte H.T. JUDD (patient, 35th General Hospital, Calais), 2 November 1916: 'I was his batman right through from Australia. I saw him just behind the first German trench lying with several bullet wounds in his forehead. I shook him but he did not speak. There was a rumor that he might be a prisoner, bit I do not think it possible. It was between the Convent and Armentieres. You see we were shown the Aeroplane photograph and told which trench was our objective, but when we got to it we found that it was a blind trench and full of water, so we went past it and were digging ourselves in when he was killed.'

Note on file: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.1919.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsName entered incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as GRIFFIN.
SourcesNAA: B2455, GRIFFEN Reginald Theodore
Red Cross file 1220401

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