Salvation Army personal papers collections: Commandant Joseph Griffith

Scope and Content

Personal papers of Commandant Joseph Griffith (1871-1947), Corps Sergeant Major at L'Islet Corps, Guernsey.

This collection comprises the journals kept by Commandant Griffith during the occupation of the Channel Islands in the Second World War. The journals include press cuttings, correspondence, official documents and photographs inserted between the pages (JG/1/1-3). An additional notebook comprises an account written by Commandant Griffith for his 'Diamond Jubilee Celebrations' of sixty years active service in The Salvation Army in 1947 (JG/1/4). Transcripts of the journals and copies of the documents produced by Joseph and Eveline's son, William F Griffith, are included (JG/2). William Griffith also compiled a file of documents and photographs relating to the family (JG/3).

The papers are arranged as follows:

JG/1: Journals

JG/2: Journal transcripts

JG/3: Photographs and assorted documents

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Griffith was born in Thornthon Heath on 29 March 1871. He became a Salvation Army officer in 1892, married Lieutenant Mary Hughes in c1903 and served in many UK corps appointments. They were appointed to the corps at L'Islet on Guernsey during the First World War. Mrs Commandant Griffith was promoted to Glory during the influenza epidemic in 1919. In 1922 Commandant Griffith married Eveline Vaudin and in 1930 they retired to L'Islet to look after Mrs Commandant Griffith's parents. Joseph became the Corps Sergeant Major and, when the Channel Islands were invaded by the Germans in June 1940, he remained on Guernsey with Eveline and her mother. Joseph carried out the duties of the CSM and protected the interests of The Salvation Army on Guernsey as best he could during the suppression of the church by the Nazis during the five years of occupation. Guernsey was occupied until the German surrender in May 1945. After arranging a valedictory 'Corps Sergeant Major's Diamond Jubilee' in May 1947, Commandant Joseph Griffith (R) was promoted to Glory (died) on 13 September 1947. Eveline Griffith was promoted to Glory from Guernsey on 25 August 1983.

Access Information

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email:

Acquisition Information

Donated by William F Griffith, son of Commandant Joseph Griffith, in 1994 and 1995.

Other Finding Aids

A multi-level description of this collection can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue: A paper catalogue is available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.

Geographical Names