Private Jesse Griffen
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Jesse Griffen was born in the 2nd quarter of 1882 in Monkton Farleigh, Wiltshire to groom Jesse Griffen Snr and Naomi Griffen nee Mizen.
Jesse’s father Jesse Griffen Snr was born in the 1st quarter of 1859 in Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire to agricultural labourer George Griffen, born about 1815 in Hilperton, Wiltshire and Jane Griffen, born about 1817 in West Ashton, Wiltshire. His Naomi Mizen was born in the 4th quarter of 1854 in South Wraxall, Wiltshire to labourer Isaac Mizen and Ruth Mizen. Naomi was baptised on the 24th of December 1854 in South Wraxhall, where the family also lived. Jesse Griffen and Naomi Mizen married on the 28th of March 1881 in Steeple Ashton.
At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived in Monkton Farleigh, Wiltshire. Jesse was working as a coachman and Naomi was at home.
Jesse had four siblings: Walter J. born about 1885 and Edward G, born about 1887, both in Monkton Farleigh; Dora J. born about 1889 in Piddlehinton, Wiltshire and Albert V. born about 1891 in Andover, Hampshire.
He was admitted on the 5th of January 1885 into the Farleigh, Monkton Church of England School.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 2 New Street, Andover, Hampshire. Jesse was working as a groom and gardener and Naomi was looking after their children.
At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at Vallins Cottage, Chute, Wiltshire. Jesse was working as a gardener and Naomi was at home. The household further comprised of their children: groom Jesse, carterman Walter carterboy, Edward, Dora and Albert.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Jesse was a coachman for retired solicitor John Croft Deverell J.P. at Pixham Firs, Dorking. The household further comprised of Mrs Maria Jane Deverell; visiting nurse Mary Benson and a cook, parlourmaid, laundry maid, kitchen maid and two housemaids. The house had 21 rooms.
Jesse married Lillian Florence Stout in the 2nd quarter of 1914 in the Registration District of South Stoneham, Wiltshire.
Lily was born in the 4th quarter of 1884 in West End, Hampshire to George and Louisa. At the time of the 1901 Census Lily Florence was working as a housemaid.
Jesse and Lily had a son: Albert was born in the 1st quarter of 1915 in Dorking.
Jesse enlisted in 1916 in Dorking into the 10th Battalion, the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. He was a Private with regimental number G/13796. At the time of his enlistment he lived in Dorking.
In October 1916, Jesse went out to France after a very short period of training. He was killed in an action on the 24th of February 1917 in Ypres, Belgium.
He is buried at the Klein-Vierstaat British Cemetery in Belgium. His grave reference number is: I.C.4.
Prior to joining the Queen’s, Jesse worked for twelve years for Mr John Croft Deverell, J.P., in Pixham Firs, as a groom and later as a coachman.
He was much respected, and the news of his death has been received by his many friends with sincere regret. (1917 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
He received the British War and Victory medals.
Jesse’s wife Lily received £2, 18s and 6d on the 23rd of May 1917 and a further £3 on the 14th of October 1919 in Soldier’s Effects. In 1917 she lived at Botley, Hamphire.
Jesse Griffen is incorrectly remembered as Jesse Griffiths on Dorking, South Street Memorial.
Born Monkton Farleigh, Wiltshire
Son of Jesse and Naomi Griffen nee Mizen
Husband of Lillian Florence Stout
Regiment 10th Battalion, Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
Date of Death 24th February 1917
Place of Death Ypres, Belguim
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Cemetery Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery, Heuvelland, Belgium