PRIVATE JAMES GRIFFIN
It has been extremely difficult to research this young man, as the name on the Etwall War Memorial is James Griffen. On researching the Sherwood Foresters it appeared that four men named as J Griffen were in Northern Irish Regiments, the Royal Inniskilling or the Leinster Regiment, and one in the Queen's West Surrey regiment
The Archivist at the Sherwood Foresters Museum in Nottingham agrees with my supposition that the name should have been Griffin.
There are no Griffins in the census returns far the 19thcentury, in Etwall, but St Helen's Church registers have the following significant entries.
James Griffin, aged 21, labourer, married Ada Clark aged 21, on the 6th January 1906.
July,1909, Ethel May, daughter of James and Ada Griffin.
June 9th, 1912, Elsie, daughter of James and Ada Griffin.
On the Electoral register for 1911 James Griffin is registered in Etwall. His name is not there in 1921, which might suggest that he is the James Griffin who was killed in Belgium in 1918.
An added complication to this investigation is that the name James Griffin is on the War memorial plaque in Egginton School Hall! There are no records at all of James in Egginton Church registers, yet this young man must be the same person. He was a labourer, and most likely worked an the Sewage farm which employed many local men. The 1911 census shows James Griffin living in Portland Street, Etwall, with his family and a boarder who has his wife’s surname.
In pursuing this War Memorial research, I have found that many men's names are on more than one memorial, put forward by proud but grieving parents and other relatives.
I have since found out that the James Griffin in Egginton was a Rifleman, and the mystery of his parentage remains. Still further research to do as of April, 2008!