It is with great sadness we have just heard that Bill Griffiths passed away at his home in Blackpool, UK  on 20th July 2012, with his wife Alice by his side.

To Alice and the whole family we extend our sincere condolences. Great men like Bill inspire us all. Remembered with great affection.  John Dunlop and family.

  

Bill and Alice Griffiths outside Buckingham Palace on receipt of Bill’s MBE, 19 Nov 1977

In March 1942 a bomb blast left British Royal Air Force driver Bill Griffiths blinded, with both hands blown off and one leg badly injured. He was taken to Allied General Hospital in Bandoeng where there were several doctors and nurses alike who though it would be kinder to let the young man die. As commanding officer of the , the newly temporary Lieutenant-Colonel Weary Dunlop determinedly kept him alive … Bill’s book “Blind to Misfortune” tells of a life of incredible personal courage, never allowing himself to become an object of pity.
Certainly Bill could not have got where he has without the care and devotion of Alice, his wife. Their story is one of remarkable courage, told with no trace of bitterness and with a generous helping of laughter. It is a measure of the man that Bill can end his story with the words, “I’ve been lucky”!

“This is Your Life”1979. Seated with Weary, Helen and two grandchildren is Mickey de Jonge; behind Helen is Blue Butterworth and to Blue’s left are Alice and Bill Griffiths, next to “Honourable Theatre Sister’ Shirley Hah

You can find out more about Bill Griffith in Margaret Geddes’ book “Remembering Weary” or  Bill’s book “Blind to Misfortune”  

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  1. I still have photo’s of Bill singing Two Little Boys , up in THailand !
    With the outside Pavilion type surroundings filled with Ex POWs and Sir Edward “WEARY” Dunlop there was no shortage of great and heroic men about.
    But I still remember Bill for his gentleness humor&warmth coupled with a fondness for a beer in the Thai heat.
    The story of how he got his injuries and Wearies stance once the Japanese had fixed bayonets is a story I have told by memory many,many times along with the long list of accomplishments Bill not only attempted after the war but excelled at !
    He and his devoted wife Alice were a paragon of what true unconditional love and respect is all about!
    God Bless you Alice and all the Flanagan familiy’s thoughts are with you and Bill both !

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