Private Robert Alexander Griffin


Robert Alexander Griffin was born on 25 October 1893 at 16 Halland Street, Belfast, the second of six children of labourer (later ironworks labourer) David Griffin and his Scottish-born wife Agnes (née Farrell). The family lived in Glasgow for several years around the turn of the century, where David Griffin worked as a shipyard craneman, before returning to Belfast.

Robert Griffin enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 2 September 1914 (No.1099 – later Corps of Hussars No.71232). On 20 January 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft of A and C Squadrons.

Griffin remained with the regiment throughout the war. At some point he returned to the UK, where on 26 February 1918 he married Emily Cosnick (the daughter of German-born chef Oscar Koschnick) at St Annes's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Belfast.

Later that year he returned to France, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, which was by then operating as corps cyclist regiment to V Corps. Griffin was wounded in the left leg during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918.

On 21 March 1919 he was discharged, being 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 (xvi)(a), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to his wound.

By 1943 Griffin was living at 14 Mount Street, Belfast, and working as a coal merchant. He died there on 27 December 1946, and was buried in the City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension.