Grosvenor, Joseph Frederick: Service no. 53116


Digitized Service Record

Source: “Duty Nobly Done” page 285.


Summary of Service[i] for Private Joseph Grosvenor, reg. no. 53116

August 10, 1894BornBorn at Barrow-in-Furnesss, Lancashire, England.
October 24, 1914EnlistedEnlists with the 18th Battalion at London, Ontario on October 23, 1914. He had prior military experience with the 7th Regiment[ii] and was a 5’ 8.5” tall labourer. His next-of-kin was designated as his mother, Mrs. Maria Grosvenor residing at 8 Beech Street, Barrow-in-Furness, England.
November 11, 1914Anti-Typhoid InoculationSigned by D.H. Hogg.
November 22, 1914Anti-Typhoid InoculationSigned by D.H. Hogg.
December 16, 1914VaccinatedSigned by D.H. Hogg.
April 15, 1915Leaves London, OntarioLeaves to embark S.S. Grampian at Halifax, Nova Scotia for England.
April 18, 1915Embarks S.S. GrampianEmbarks transport ship at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
April 29, 1915Arrives EnglandArrives with 18th Battalion at Avonmouth and the Battalion entrains to West Sandling for training with the 2nd Canadian Contingent (2nd Division).
August 1915Assigns PayAssigns pay in the amount of $25.00 (later reduced to $20.00 effective May 1, 1916) to his mother.[iii]
September 9, 1915AdmittedAdmitted to Tent Hospital at St. Martin’s Plain.
September 28, 1915DischargedDischarged from hospital.
October 8, 1915TransferredTransferred to the 48th Battalion.
October 26, 1915TransferredTransferred to the 18th Battalion.
October 27, 1915ArrivesArrives in the field with the 18th Battalion. The Battalion was in Divisional Reserve at La Clytte.
July 6, 1916Submits WillLeave real and estate property to this mother, Mrs. Maria Grosvenor, 8 Beech Street, Barrow-in-Furness, England. The will is witnessed by James Hutchison[iv] and George Bamiling[v].
September 16, 1916AdmittedAdmitted aboard the Hospital Ship St. Patrick and transported to England.
September 20, 1916AdmittedAdmitted Kitchener Hospital, Brighton, England for slight wound to chest.
October 8, 1916AdmittedAdmitted to Military Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, England.
November 10, 1916DischargedDischarged to Canadian Convalescent Depot at St. Leanords to the 1st C.C.T.B. Battalion.
January 24, 1917TransferredTransferred to the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion, Hastings.
April 15, 1917Taken on StrengthT.O.S. from 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion to the 18th Battalion.
May 26, 1917Struck off StrengthS.O.S. to 18th Battalion.
May 28, 1917ArrivedArrived from 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion to the Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples.
June 15, 1917ArrivedArrived with the 18th Battalion in the field. The Battalion was resting and refitting at Barlin, France since June 4.
August 21, 1917PromotedPromoted Lance-Corporal vice L.Cpl. J.A. Egan promoted.
November 16, 1917PromotedPromoted Sergeant as Sergeant F.G. Jones was promoted.
August 28, 1918Killed in ActionSergeant Grosvenor’s Circumstances of Death Card relates: “”Killed in Action” When in the trenches in front of Guemappe, he was instantly killed when a shell burst in the trench while he was on duty.”



The War Diary relates:


“At 3:00 a.m. following intense 5 min. barrage Bn. jumped off TILOY [sic] TRENCH in front of TELEGRAPH HILL in support of 21st Cdn. Bn. The artillery preparation was good. Owing to getting lost in the darkness, the tanks detailed to go over with the Bn. failed to turn up per schedule, so the Unit was without their assistance in the initial kick-off. MINORCA TRENCH, a difficult nut to crack, was set as the first objective, and SOUTHERN AVENUE TRENCH as the second objective. Both positions were won by 8.00 a.m. “D” Coy. holding the last named defence line in conjunction with the 21st Cdn. Bn. “A” Coy. remained in GORDON TRENCH, and “B” Coy at the first objective, MINORCA TRENCH.


Up to this time the casualties had been far smaller than anticipated, although Lieut. McHardy had gone only a short distance from the Assault trench when he sustained mortal shrapnel wounds.


The German resistance had been slight but at this point was considerably strengthened. At 1. o’clock, the Bn. was ordered to capture the village of GUIMAPPE. Personal reconnaissances in broad daylight and under sever fire by Major C.M.R. Graham and Capt. D.A.G. Parsons, M.C., O.Cs respectively for “D” and “C” Coys. were first conducted. Waiting until artillery support, inadequate as it was to meet the situation, had been obtained, “C” & “D” Coys at 4.00 p.m. advanced and captured the ruined town. Casualties in the face of both terrific machine gun and artillery barrages laid down by the enemy were fairly heavy.[vi]


Lieut. Brackin [sic], who had done brilliant work up to this moment, was instantly killed by a shell and Capt. Parsons and Lieut. Edwards sustained wounds that resulted in their immediate evacuation.


Resultant of the progress, “C” and “D” Coys occupied and consolidated STAG TRENCH, and “A” and “B” Coys moved forward to RAKE AND GORDON TRENCHES respectively. At. 11 p.m. “A” Coy under the fine leadership of Lieut. Spence, went forward, despite most stubborn opposition, and captured CALVARY TRENCH. Unfortunately, the achievement went for naught, as the Unit on their immediate left was held up and the Coy. at 3.00 a.m., 27th, after 4 hours of desperate fighting was compelled to withdraw temporarily to RAKE TRENCH. Approx. all ranks 10 killed & 15 wounded. 1 O.R. ret. from leave & 1 O.R. on leave. 2 O.Rs ret. from army rest camp.”


It is difficult to know at what point of the day that Sergeant Grosvenor met his fate. The Battalion was in very active operations in that part of the month, along with the Canadian Corps, pursuing the Germans as part of “The Last 100 Days”.

Post August 28, 1918InterredSergeant Grosvenor was later interred at the Wancourt British Cemetery. He is buried along with 21 other Battalion brothers at plot IV. A. 28. Two members of the Battalion lie in graves beside him.
December 2, 1920Scroll DespatchedScroll No. Z2868 despatched. To Mrs. Maria Grosvenor residing at 8 Beech Street, Barrow-in-Furness, England.
April 15, 1922Plaque DespatchedPlaque No. P35450 despatched. To Mrs. Maria Grosvenor residing at 8 Beech Street, Barrow-in-Furness, England.
November 13, 1920Medals and DecorationsVictory Medal, British War Medal, and 1914-1915 Star per (M) C30487. To Mrs. Maria Grosvenor residing at 8 Beech Street, Barrow-in-Furness, England.

[i] The Summary of Service for this soldier is meant as just that, a summary of his service. It is not intended to be an exhaustive biographical relation of his life or his war service. Some information may be deliberately suppressed by the author out of sensitivity to the soldier. Readers are encouraged to reference the actual service records available at the Library and Archives Canada in PDF format if they wish to learn more about this soldier. Such additional information (i.e. hyperlinks etc.) are for informational purpose only and no claim to verification or accuracy is made by the author of this summary.

[ii] It is not known to which this unit refers. Is it a Canadian or British unit?

[iii] Note that most pay was assigned by members of the Battalion in March 1915 before they left for England.

[iv] Most likely Hutchinson, James:  Service no. 403377.

[v] Bamiling, George:  Service no. 424385.

[vi] Emphasis mine.

"Killed in Action" When in the trenches in front of Guemappe, he was instantly killed when a shell burst in the trench while he was on duty.
“Killed in Action” When in the trenches in front of Guemappe, he was instantly killed when a shell burst in the trench while he was on duty.

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