Mary Ann GRIFFITHS – Lost at sea

MARY ANNE, WIFE OF N. R. GRIFFITH. ACCIDENTALLY KILLED BY A FALL AT SEA 22 FEB 1901, GERALD MAURICE GRIFFITH, YOUNGEST SON OF THE ABOVE   

Nathanial Robert Griffith was born in October 1847 in Graville, France, he was the son of Robert Griffiths from  Henllan and Matilda Walker who was from Staffordshire.  Robert had been working as a civil engineer at Le Havre where two sons were born, Robert William in 1844 (died 1846) and Nathanial Robert in 1847.    The family moved around a lot as children were born in Staffordshire and London. By 1862 Robert became a partner in the Coppa Colliery near Mold where they remained for some time before moving to London where he died in 1883. Matilda came back to Wales and died in 1892.  

In 1868 Nathanial Robert married Mary Ann Maurice, also known as Minnie. The event was published in the Wrexham Advertiser 19 September 1868. 

MARRIAGES, GRIFFITH—Maurice.-On the 15th inst., St. Giles’ Church, Wrexham, by the Rev. James Dixon, Nathanial Robert Griffith, Esq. of The Coppa, near Mold, to Minnie, third daughter of the late Mortimer Maurice, Esq., of Oak Lodge, Wrexham. 

Mary Ann had been born in Chester in 1840, her mother was Mary Ann Marsden, The family were in Bersham by 1851 where Mortimer Maurice was a coal proprieter living in Lloft Wen, Adwy before moving to Acton.  

Maurice Mortimer died in 1865 in Oak Lodge, Acton, he was a very wealthy man having had interests in the coal and iron industry in the area.  

Nathaniel Robert graduated at the Royal School of Mines and London University and became an engineer.  He was in charge of the canal pits under Mr Walter Ness, who was mining engineer of Coppa Colliery. 

Nathanial Robert and Mary Ann lived in Rhosddu, with 5 children all born in Wrexham. They were obviously well of as there was a private governess and 2 servants in the house. They later moved to The Elms on Grove Road where in 1891 Mary Ann sadly died. 

26th September 1891 Wrexham Advertiser, 

DEATH OF MRS. N. R. GRIFFITH.—We regret to announce the death of Mrs N. R. Griffith, which took place at The Elms on Thursday. The deceased lady underwent an operation on Sunday, and progressed very favourably until Tuesday morning, when she suddenly took a change for the worse, and died on the afternoon of the same day. Much sympathy is naturally felt for Mr Griffith and his family in their sad bereavement. 

Nathanial Robert Griffith and his family moved to Ruabon and were living at Plasnewydd,  both he and his son Nathanial M 27 were mining engineers . 

 On 22 February 1901 his youngest son Gerald Maurice Griffith was killed at sea.  

The Deaths abroad records have these details.  

Griffiths Gerald Morris (sic) )aged 20  POB  Wrexham 

Last place of abode Newcastle NSW. Fall from aloft ship Ancenis 

Date of death 20.02.1901. At sea 14 degrees 35′ R. 7 degrees 10′ W 

This would have been shortly after this article was published on 8 February 1901 and Nathanial Robert wasn`t aware of the tragedy until until much later. 

THE CALL TO ARMS.LLANGOLLEN VOLUNTEERS AND SERVICE WITH THE COLOURS. 

 The call has come to the “waiting” men who volunteered for service in South Africa. They had to report themselves at Hightown Barracks, Wrexham, on Monday. It is intended that they shall here undergo a few weeks’ training and musketry practice prior to being sent out to South Africa to relieve the Welsh Fusilier Volunteer Service Company at present out there. The Company is to consist of 116 men, and at present there are about 100 quartered in the Barracks. The officers who will go out with the Company are Captain H. Meredith-Jones and Lieut. Maurice Griffith of the 1st Battalion and Lieut Ford of the 2nd Battalion.  

 It wasn`t until April that Nathaniel found that his son had died.  

LLANGOLLEN ADVERTISER 26 APRIL 1901 

Mr. Nathaniel Griffith, of Plasnewydd, Ruabon, last week received the sad news of the death at sea of his youngest son, Gerald. Young Griffith fell from the rigging of the ship on which he was an apprentice, and his injuries proving fatal, he was buried at sea. Mr. Griffith has another son at the front in South Africa, and his eldest son, Captain Maurice Griffith, recently returned from the war. 

Nathaniel Robert Griffith died at The Elms on 10 February 1903, he was buried with Mary Ann.  

Researched by Annette Edwards. Feb 2020.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02340
Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02340

Grave pics: Graham Lloyd.