William Whitesmith Constantine

William Whitesmith Constantine

William was born in Middlesbrough on the 26th March 1887. He was the son of Joseph and Maria Constantine of Harlesly Hall Northallerton. He was one of five offspring, having 2 sisters and 2 brothers. His father ran a shipping company which he had started in 1885 and would last until it was sold off in 1960. At the outbreak of WW1 the company had 28 vessels, 22 being ocean going and 6 coastal. During the war 13 of the company vessels and 32 crewmen would perish.

William was gazetted into the Yorkshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1906, promoted to Lieutenant 27th May 1907, and to Captain 5th October 1913.

He served in France with the 4th Battalion. He suffered gassing at Ypres on the 24th May 1915 and was wounded on the Somme on the 15th September 1916. In 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross for ‘conspicuous gallantry in action’ which was cited in the London Gazette on the 14th November 1916. He had been promoted to Major on the 13th June 1916.

On the 2nd May 1918 he was posted to The 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, then in August to the 9th Battalion the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
The family were associated with Constantine College in Middlesbrough having donated £40,000 towards the building cost. The college opened in 1930.

William died on the 11th November 1970 and was buried at the Church of St. Oswald, East Harlsey where he had been Churchwarden for many years. He is buried with his wife Winifred who died in 1983.