Victoria and Fred Griffiths

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Attended Stanford Road School

My grandmother, Victoria May Griffiths, lived at 1 Exeter Street, and later at 21 Exeter Street in Preston, Brighton. She was born in 1897, and attended Stanford Road School along with her brother, Frederick Charles Griffiths, who was killed in WW1 and has his name on the school’s war memorial. My parents emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in 1950, and I never met my Grandma until 1985 when she was 87 years old.

Grandma worked for the GPO

She told me how her first job was a dressmaker, and that the job was found for her by the governess of the school. She was paid 1 shilling a week. She worked at that until WW1 when she worked as a letter carrier for the GPO. She said that she got one question wrong in the entrance examination, which meant that she had to work outside. So she delivered the letters rather than working indoors sorting them.

Brother Fred’s death in WWI

My Grandma also told me how she had to tell her brother Fred’s fiance that he had been killed, as her mother was so distressed she could not do it. She also said that the Salvation Army took the mothers to France after the war to see the graves. To think that this tragedy was repeated in millions of families. Our family visited Fred’s grave in Chocques, France in 2012. The war memorial at the school may be nearly 100 years old but some of the names are still remembered.

Comments about this page

  • Great story and photographs. Thanks for posting

    By Andy Mountford (11/02/2014)
  • Agree with Andy; fascinating. I bet the school would love to have copies of your photographs.

    By Janet Beal (13/02/2014)
  • Thanks Janet and Andy. The main reason for putting the page on MyBrightonandHove was to ensure that the photos wouldn’t be lost. I saw the other postings for Stanford Road School and none had class photos as early as this. If anyone at the school wants copies, please email me at ggbarber@gmail.com.  Also, I have just finished reading a fascinating book on the history of the Imperial War Graves Commission (Empires of the Dead by David Crane), and the story behind the creation of all the cemeteries in France. One of the negatives of having all the war graves in France (there was a BIG argument over whether families should be allowed to bring home their dead) was that the poorer families could not afford to visit the graves, and hence the war memorials like the one at Stanford Road School were very important to the parents who lost sons. Hence I was keen to get the 1921 photo of the memorial published as well.

    By Geoffrey Barber (16/02/2014)

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