INDENTLieutenant Colonel Richard Henry Griffiths (1873-1918), born in Derbyshire, England, and emigrated with his family to the United States of America; joined the 1st Tennessee National Guard 2 April 1898, and served in the Philippines with the First Tenessee Volunteer Infantry November 1898 - December 1900; was present at the Battle of San Juan del Monte, the taking of Luzon, Iloilo and Paney, the Battle of Jarro River (Recommended for an Honourable Mention) promoted to First Sergeant and took part in various expeditions and actions during 1899 with the 37th U.S.Volunteer Infantry; in early 1900 took part in General Schwann's expedition through Southern Luzon and General Hill's expedition to Polill and Infanta (Recommended for Certificate of Merit for Gallantry); passed exams for Second Lieutenancy, but returned to the United States, January 1901, as a civilian.
Returning to the Philippines in July 1901, Griffiths joined the newly formed Philippines Constabulary, advancing to Lieutenant 1901, and resigning his commission as Major, 1911; returned once again to the United States as a civilian.
On the outbreak of War in Europe, Griffiths returned to England, volunteered for active service and was gazetted Temporary Captain in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts. and Derby Regiment) 17 March 1915; advanced to Temporary Major, 20 September 1915; seconded to command and evacuate from Gallipoli, the badly mauled 1/5th Battalion The Royal Scots who had suffered heavy casualties since landing in April 1915; The Royal Scots returned to France from Egypt, March 1916, and Griffiths soon after rejoined his Regiment as a Captain; served at Ypres and was wounded, June 1916; rejoined his Regiment February 1917 in the "Exeter Castle Sector" near Mazingarbe.
'THE BRITISH AMERICAN COLONEL'
The United States of America entered the War in April 1917. Griffiths resigned his commission with the British Army 27 November 1917, and two hours later accepted a Majority in the United States Army; posted to 18th U.S.Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, and commended for his "cool, calm, efficiency during the trying days of January and February 1918"; promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Commanding the 3rd Battalion, 18th Regiment; Lieutenant Colonel Griffiths was killed by a high explosive shell 27 April 1918. Probably the most appropriate epitaph to an interesting and varied life is to quote the opening lines of a report from a special correspondent of The Times who wrote, under the heading:
BRITISH/AMERICAN COLONEL KILLED
"American Army in France, May 1 1918. Lieut. Colonel Richard Griffiths, whose death by shellfire in Picardy, I am just permitted to announce, was one of the most picturesque soldiers in the American Army..."
Anna Maria Griffiths, née Freeman, born in Ireland, was serving as a Contract Nurse with the United States Nursing Service when she met and later married Richard Griffiths in the Philippines. Served as a Nurse in Egypt and England during the War, returning to the United States in 1918. She pursued her husband's claims to his United States service medals, and lived to receive a retrospective "Purple Heart" lapel decoration in 1947.