Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The connection between the Griffiths family and Portsmouth appears to have begun in the mid 1880s when Arthur George's father, Arthur Griffiths was posted to Eastney Barracks with the Royal Marine Artillery (RMA).
Arthur snr. had been born at Hereford in 1861 and probably joined the RMA around 1880. His posting to Eastney represented a turning point in his life as it was in Portsmouth that he met, and in 1886 (1st quarter), married Mary McGuire who had been born in the town in 1866 though it's not known quite how they met as Mary did not appear in the 1871 or 1881 censuses for Portsmouth. Perhaps she was the daughter of a fellow serviceman who had accompanied her father on foreign postings and then returned to Portsmouth with him.
Whilst Arthur snr. was still in the RMA the couple lived close to the barracks at 6 Eastney Place on Eastney Road, where their two children Arthur George and Edith were born in 1886 (3rd Quarter) and 1890 respectively. By 1901 Arthur snr. had left the RMA and was describing himself (in the 1901 census) as a member of the Royal Rifle Reserve Regiment which seems to have had a short existence around the time of the Boer War. The couple were then living with their children at 40 Esslemont Road, Southsea.
None of the family appears in the 1911 census, but by then Arthur George had probably left home and joined the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry which was stationed in Hong Kong when the Great War began. Recalled home, the battalion arrived back in England in November 1914 and the following month were sent to France, disembarking at Le Havre on 21st December 1914. The Battalion fought in the Second Battle of Ypres at the end of which Arthur Griffiths lost his life.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Arthur George Griffiths, Corporal (9571), 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, died 14/03/1915, aged 28 years. Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, (Panel 20.). Son of Arthur Griffiths, of 39, Marylebone St., Southsea, Portsmouth.
Arthur Griffiths is also commemorated on the Cenotaph, Guildhall Square. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
January 2015