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The son of William and Jane Griffin, Robert was born on 12 April 1885 in Bilston. In 1901, they were living at 32 Church Lane, Wolverhampton, along with Robert’s siblings Jennie J., William and Samuel A. Robert was employed as an apprentice working with photos and engravings.

He emigrated to Canada. He enlisted in Canada as a Lieutenant with the Royal Flying Corps, and was awarded his Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate on 14 November 1915 at Curtiss School, Toronto. His address by this date. was given as 111 Rainsford Road, Toronto. A small item appeared in the Express & Star on 22 September 1916 stating that his relatives in Wolverhampton had been informed that he had been wounded and taken a prisoner of war. The prisoner of war records confirm this. He had been shot in the upper arm and the right hip bone, and he was kept at a camp at Friedberg.

He survived the war, and moved back to the United Kingdom, marrying Winifred A. Hall in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, in 1919. He died on 17 February 1955 (when his address was given as 152 Fir Tree Road, Banstead, Surrey. The value of his effects was £6105 10s. 9d.