Griffiths, George Griffith (George)
No. 3763227, 7th Battalion, the King’s Regiment (Liverpool), Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps
Lost in the SS Scillin sinking on Saturday 14 November 1942 (aged 37)
No known grave
Alamein Memorial, Egypt (Column 24)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Ballyholme Presbyterian Church
George Griffith Griffiths was born on 21 September 1905 in Bootle, Lancashire and he was a son of David and Jane Griffiths (nee Prescott) who lived at 32 Holywell Street, Bootle. George was baptised on 3 October 1905 in St. Leonard’s Parish Church, Bootle.
David Griffiths, who was born in 1876, was a dock labourer and his marriage to Jane Prescott, who was born 1878, was registered in the fourth quarter of 1899 in Liverpool. David and Jane Griffiths had at least eight children:
John David (born 1901)
Jane (born 1902)
Charles (born 1904)
George (born 21 September 1905 in Bootle, Lancashire)
Elizabeth (born 1908)
Sarah (born 1910)
Lily (born 1912)
Florence (born 1916)
George Griffith Griffiths was the husband of Isobel Griffiths of Windmill Cottage, Bangor and, during the Second World War, George served with the 7th Battalion, the King’s Regiment (Liverpool), Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. He fought in the Middle East theatre of war and was taken prisoner. On 13 November 1942 at Tripoli in Libya a large number of Allied Prisoners-of-War were ordered into the cargo hold of the SS Scillin – many more than could comfortably be accommodated. The ship was bound for Sicily and on the night of 14 November, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the SS Scillin was ordered to stop by the British submarine HMS Sahib. When the SS Scillin did not respond, the HMS Sahib fired a torpedo. The torpedo hit the hold and the ship sank rapidly. Very few of the prisoners were rescued and only when they were heard speaking English was it realized that the ship had been carrying British Prisoners-of-War. At a subsequent inquiry into this ‘friendly fire’ tragedy the Commander of HMS Sahib was cleared of any wrongdoing because the SS Scillin was unmarked and, at the time, he believed that she was carrying Italian troops.
The SS Scillin was a cargo ship built in 1903 by Russell and Company Ltd., Greenock. Originally named the SS H M Pellatt, this ship was operated by British and Canadian companies until 1920, including service in the Great War. After that, under a succession of names, she was operated by Belgian, French and Italian companies. It was as the Italian cargo ship SS Scillin that she was torpedoed and sunk on 14 November 1942 and controversy surrounded the sinking.
Trooper George Griffith Griffiths (No. 3763227) was 37 when he died and he is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt; on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Ballyholme Presbyterian Church.