RAF hero family’s home, Llandudno
Glyn Griffiths became the first Llandudno man decorated for bravery in the Second World War when King George VI invested him with the Distinguished Flying Medal in March 1941. His father Hywel lived in Chapel Street and was a Member of the Pharmaceutical Society. Hywel was also proprietor of the West End Café, now Tiffany Café Bar, on the corner of Chapel Street and Gloddaeth Street.
Glyn attended John Bright County School. He worked at Llandudno Urban District Council’s gas department before enlisting in the RAF in 1937.
Flight Sgt Griffiths was a Hurricane fighter pilot with No.17 Squadron, based in Le Mans, France, in June 1940 to cover the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force.
It was in the Battle of Britain, when the Nazis tried to cripple Britain’s air defences from July to October 1940, that Griffiths showed “splendid courage and initiative in his attacks against the enemy”. He destroyed at least six Luftwaffe aircraft. He’s thought to have shot down two in one day!
On learning he would receive the Distinguished Flying Medal, he told the local newspaper: “Skill and craft are of more avail in the long run than pure daring.” A civic reception for him and his wife Ann was organised at the Town Hall. He later became an instructor, and took part in photo reconnaissance and escort of shipping convoys.
In summer 1943 Flying Officer Griffiths was one of several RAF aces posted into units flying Anglo-American Mustang I fighters. On 16 October he was returning from a sortie over France when his aircraft collided with an accompanying plane. He was badly burned before he could bail out, and spent much of the remainder of the war having treatment for his injuries.
His medals are displayed at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. They include the 1939-1945 Star with bar “Battle of Britain”, the Atlantic Star and two Belgian awards. He died on 13 October 2004 at Morriston Hospital, close to his last home in Gorseinon, Swansea.
With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum
Postcode: LL30 2SY View Location Map