Edgar Collins, Rifleman 50308, 1st/6th Bn, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
Killed in action 20th September 1917 in Belgium, aged 27
Son of Edward George and Lydia Collins, of 6 Barker St, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
More information will be added here when research is complete.
Edgar enlisted in October 1916 as Private 262102 with the Royal Army Service Corps, but after training at Woolwich he was transferred to an infantry battalion. Edgar was drafted overseas in June or July 1917, at some stage being transferred to the King’s (Liverpool Regiment).
Edgar lost his life when he was hit by a shell on 20th September 1917. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 12th October:
DIED A NOBLE DEATH – “STUCK TO DUTY WITHOUT A MURMUR”
News has been received by Mrs Collins, 6 Barker St, Macclesfield, that her son, Pte Edgar Collins, King’s Liverpool Regt, has been killed in action. The sad news was contained in… [a] letter from a comrade, Rifleman E Ashe: “I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son Edgar is dead. He died a noble death… we… stood side by side during four counter-attacks by the enemy, who could not break through… one unlucky shell dropped within three feet of us and killed Edgar and wounded three others… the concussion threw me over… He was killed instantaneously… he died without any pain… I had grown to regard him as my chum, for he was the type of man one could admire. He stuck to his duty without a murmur or complaint, and we have had a few trying times. His body was taken away and buried behind the line.”
The late Pte Collins was a native of Macclesfield and twenty-seven years of age, being an only son. In his boyhood he received his education at the Mill Street Wesleyan day school… and was connected with the Church Street West United Methodist Chapel. Pte Collins was formerly employed at Messrs Adderley’s, and at the time of joining at Army, exactly twelve months ago this week, was engaged as a box cutter at the Park Lane Mill of Messrs Josiah Smale and Son. The deceased soldier joined the Army Service Corps, but after a course of training at Woolwich was posted to an infantry battalion. He was drafted out to France three months ago and was subsequently transferred to the King’s Liverpools. Pte Collins sustained a slight gunshot wound in the shoulder in August, and after treatment in a French hospital returned to the line, being back again within a fortnight of being hit.
Rifleman Edgar Collins has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 31 to 34 and 162 and 162A and 163A of the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Rifleman Edgar Collins, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Soldiers Died in the Great War (transcription)
Macclesfield Times: 12 October 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)