CAPTAIN GILBERT DIGBY MANSEL GWYNNE-GRIFFITH
2ND JULY 1918 AGE 27
BURIED: TEHRAN WAR CEMETERY, IRAN
This inscription takes us far away from Western Europe to southern Persia, now Iran, where the British had formed the South Persia Rifles in an attempt to counter German influence among the region's tribes.
There was much local hostility to the British and the loyalty of many members of the Rifles had became uncertain. In June 1918 the Rifles' garrison at Abadeh mutinied and joined the enemy, laying siege to the town. A small Indian Army detachment had recently joined the fortress to take control of the supplies and ammunition in case of just such an eventuality. On 2 July the enemy succeeded in breaking the bank of the irrigation channel, diverting the water so that it flowed directly towards the mud walls of the garrison fortress. Gwynne-Griffiths went out under heavy fire to mend the breach and was killed. The breach was eventually mended but Abadeh was not relieved until the 17 July.
On 2 August a detachment of troops left Abadeh taking Gwynne-Griffiths body with them back to Shiraz, a journey of 180 miles in the scorching heat. You must be thinking what I'm thinking. How did they keep Gwynne-Griffith's body from being unspeakable. I don't know but they didn't want it left among the hostile local people.
We wouldn't have known about this if his mother hadn't told us via his inscription. His comrades' actions must have brought her great comfort.
Gwynne-Griffiths was buried in Shiraz British Cemetery but in 1963 all the burials here were concentrated in Teheran War Cemetery.