Joseph Consterdine was born in 1893 in Manchester and raised by his grandfather. By 1911 he had move to be a grocers assistant at Chorley, nr. Mobberley, Cheshire.
He enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in 1914, become Guardsman no. 21831 he and arrived in France on the 13th October 1915.
Joseph was killed in action on the 16th September 1916.
On that fateful day:
The Battalion War Diary that covers this date states:
13.9.16 Camp in Happy Valley near FRICOURT
The battalion moved from bivouacs near CARNOY about 9.30 p.m. on Saturday night and moved EAST for ¾ mile when it was halted + told to wait till further orders. The 48th Brig. Attack had succeeded and they had attained all their objectives including GINCHY and the WELSH Gds. Went forward to relieve them. The 47th brigade had failed, and the troops, after very heavy losses, were all back in the original line from where they started. The Brigade on the right of the 47th Brigade had succeeded in attaining their objectives; thus the left of the 167th Brigade and the right of the WELSH GDS. Were in the air + separated by a distance of about 600 yards; the left of the WELSH GDS. Was also in the air owing to the attack on its left having also failed. At 11.45 p.m. O.C. 4th Bn. Grenadier Gds, who had been at brigade HQ during the attack, arrived with orders for the battalion to relieve all troops of the 47th Brigade and take over their trenches. The Battn. moved off, No.1 Coy. Leading, under a light shell fire across country, leaving GUILLEMONT immediately on it (sic) left and heading direct for GINCHY. The advance was necessarily very slow and it was 3 a.m. before the leading Coys. Arrived in the trenches + took over from the remnants of the47th Brig. No. 1 Coy. On the right, got into immediate touch with the supporting troops of the 167th Brig. No 2 Coy in the centre linked up with Nos. 1 + 3 Coys. No 3 CoyÂ had its right on No.2 and its left stretching north towards GINCHY. After a considerable time No. 3 Coy. Got into touch with some very exhausted MUNSTERS. No 4 Coy + Batt HQ established themselves in an old German trench 500 yards to the east of GUILLEMONT and 600 yards behind No. 2 Coy.connecion to ANGLE WOOD COPSE was established by relay posts and telephone communication from there to Brig. HQ established. An attempt to connect up with Coy. HQ by telephone failed owing to shell fire. At 5 a.m. the 10th relief was complete, though the situation, as regards the ENEMY was very obscure. Patrols at once went out and got into touch, but the thick early morning mist and general confusion in the trenches, the condition of which was indescribable, being filled with killed, dying + wounded, rendered it impossible for O.C. Coys. To render a clear report of the situation. ENEMY shell fire at this time was accurate + heavy. The ENEMY Inf. In our front was very active sniping, and patrols from both sides continually met in NO MANS LAND (which varied from 80 to 200 yards) frequently no knowing whether they were friend or enemies. The situation remained the same all Sunday heavy shelling and rifle fire on both sides being continuous. On Sunday evening Capt. GRAHAM + No. 2 Coy. 1st Bn moved up in support and No. 3 Coy. Extended NORTH, No.4 Coy. Taking its place in the line. O.C. No. 3 Coy. (Capt. STEWART) found the situation on the LEFT very obscure, whole trenches being obliterated while constant sniping and shell fire made any movement almost impossible. He at last got close touch with a Coy on 2nd SCOTS GUARDS who had been sent up to support the WELSH GUARDS. Some Coy. of 1st Bn. GRENADIERS were also supporting WELSH GUARDS who were heavily attacked in front and rear and both flanks. On Monday shelling of our line increased and frequent barrage were put on us throughout the day At 4.40 p.m. Capt. GRAHAM 1st Bn. Gren. Gds. Received orders to make a bombing attack across the gap which still existed between the right of the WELSH Gds, and troops on my right. This took place at 1 a.m. Tuesday, and this was successful, though Capt. GRAHAM and Lt. AMAGH-CURRY were both killed and the company had heavy casualties. Lts. LLEWELLYN + SHELLEY both of this Coy. had previously been wounded.. At 1.30 a.m. the Bn SUFFOLK REGT. Arrived at Batt HQ to relieve us and b4 a.m. all Coys. Were clear of trenches, Nos. 2 + 4 Coys. Were placed at the disposal pof O.C. WELSH GUARDS and sent to TRONES WOOD. Nos 1 + 3 Coys. And Batt. HQ to BERNAFAY ROAD arriving at 5.30 a.m. At 9 a.m. No. 3 Coy. was sent forward at disposal of O.C. 1st Bn and was used to establish connection between units in the line. ½ No. 1 Coy. were ordered up as a carrying party. At 10 p.m. the Batt. Was relieved by the 1st Bn. SCOTS GDS, No 1 + 4 Coys. + Bn HQ arrived at this camp at 1.30 a.m. No. 2 Coy arrived at 1.30 a.m. + No. 3 Coy. at 3.30 a.m.. Lt. R.F.C. TOMPSON was killed on the night of the 10/11th by shell fire and Capt. GOSCHEN wounded.
All officers + Senior N.C.Os. attended the funeral of Capt. GRAHAM + Lt. Corry.
Brigade Conference yesterday at which the objective and dispositions of the next commencing tomorrow morning was given. The 1st + 2ns Guards Brigades attack.
Researched and compiled by Tony Davies.