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1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association ®




Dear Member / Friend

I would just like to advise you that my brother L/Cpl Cliff (Griffo) Griffiths passed away last Friday 23/12/11. Glyn Griffiths

Life’s contract and death is expected
As in a season of autumn
The soldier falls
He does not become a three days personage
Imposing his separation
Calling for pomp
Death is absolute and without memorial
As in a season of autumn
When the wind stops

"Wallace Stevens"

We had the funeral yesterday (4th January 2012) and he wanted a poem by Robert Service “The men who don’t fit in” read at the funeral, the poem was him to a tee because he never really fitted into civvy life.

Cliff was born in Nairobi, Kenya, went school there at Nairobi Primary and the Duke of York. We left Africa in 1967 to come to Australia and prior to coming over to Rhodesia he did time in the Aussy army. He was born in 1951 so was 60 when he passed on, had a son Mark but was not married at the time of his death.

The other brother besides me is Bernard, born in Nairobi, he’s about 10 years younger than Cliff and the youngest is our sister Sally, also born in Nairobi.

Thanks again for everything


Hi Glyn,

I am saddened to hear of the Cliff’s passing. Condolences to family and friends.

I attach a photo of made up collage of 12 Troop in 1976 with Cliff and his mates.

I was Cliff’s troop commander from his arrival in 1975 until my departure in early 1978.

You need to know that Cliff was a rock solid soldier who could be relied upon by his mates. With his prior experience he set a fine soldiering example for the younger troopies. In action he was both brave and aggressive. In the RLI we operated in four-man ‘sticks’ and he would, as a L/Cpl, would deploy independently with his stick for periods of five days on patrolling and OP (observation post) tasks.

On Fire Force duties (where we deployed by chopper with gunship and fixed wing support) he was a Stick Commander whose stick accounted for a number of gooks (or guerrillas as they are politically correctly called today).

On the lighter side on a deployment into Mozambique in 1977 on an 8 day patrol, when he was carrying the FN MAG (light machine gun). Cliff had obviously taken a bet with the lads that he could carry the 24 lb MAG plus 50 round belt without a sling (thus bearing all the weight on his arms like we carried a rifle). I noticed that he did not have a sling only after the choppers dropped us off in Mozambique. It was as hot as hell in the Zambezi Valley and we were carrying heavy what with 8 days rats (rations – which in those days were tins). We were to patrol Malaya style using a combination of cross grain and river-line patrols. We set off and my intention was to walk (of as we called it ‘trup’) for an hour then take a fifteen minute (smoke) break. I watched the lads and after 40 odd minutes heads were starting to drop. To his credit Cliff was head up and alert for almost exactly 45 mins. As soon as his head dropped I called a break. I did this throughout the 8 days – as soon as Cliff’s head dropped I called a break. Each time I did so he glanced in at me as if to say ‘at last an officer who knows how to pace patrols’. I never let on that I was calling it according to him and was sure that he scored a bunch of free beer over his wager from his mates. I did however take the pressure off him by telling him later in front of the other troopies that (before the next patrol) that he must use a sling. That way he got off the hook as he could say Mr Adams said he must. One hell-of-a strong wiry guy.

There is a photo on page 175 of ‘The Saints’ book of Cliff and some of the ‘Foreign Legion’ which I hope Chris Cocks will send you.

There is a 3 Commando page on face book where a number of his old mates are members. Drop in there and speak to the lads sometime.

If there is any other way I can be of assistance please let me know.

Mark Adams
South Africa

Terrible news about Griff, he was a great guy ... he will be remembered with much affection by many for his antics and keen sense of humour.

Some of the recent books written about the Regiment are a lasting testament to people like Griff and what they did all those years ago. I will always remember Griff just as he was in the photo on page 179 of The Saints sat on the bunker in that ridiculous steel helmet at Sabi Star while we waited to cross the border. RIP Cliff.

Very best regards to all.

Fraser Brown (2 Cdo).