Gerald Joseph Griffin

June 24, 2015

GRIFFIN, Gerald Joseph- – – – SPC 1900

DoB:- – c1883. Launceston, TAS

Father:– – Michael J Griffin


Gerald Griffin was a boarder from Gladstone in Tasmania. When he completed his Matriculation year in 1900, he was awarded a watch and chain as a prize.

Service No:– 50753

Rank:– – Private

Unit:- – Engineer Reinforcements, 41st Battalion

Gerald Joseph Griffin’s application for enlistment was finally accepted on 23 April 1918 in Brisbane. He was 32 years and ten months old, a single man with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He was a surveyor by profession.

His war record shows that Gerald Griffin attempted to enlist on a few occasions but was rejected or -‘discharged -“ service no longer required’. His attempt in April 1916 ended with a statement claiming he was -‘medically unfit -“ character bad’.

His fifth attempt saw him accepted, and on 5 May 1918, Private Griffin embarked from Brisbane, and arriving at Liverpool, England on 10 July. He was assigned to the 41st Battalion.

It is clear by his war record that he was a troubled man. While undergoing further training in the UK, he was frequently in trouble for being Absent Without Leave, and displaying -‘conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that he disturbed the peace of the civilian population of Brightlingsea’. Basically, he was constantly getting drunk.

On 24 October 1918, Private Griffin proceeded overseas to France where he remained until his return to Australia on 22 September 1919. He was still committing -‘crimes’ while in France -“ being Absent Without Leave, drunkenness, using obscene language, bringing liquor into camp. He was also treated for venereal disease during July and August 1919. His war record has several pages that just list all his offences.

When he was finally discharged in late 1919, the opinion of the medical board was that Private Griffin was a chronic alcoholic.

The College could not trace Gerald Griffin after his return to Australia.