Collier, Norman M

Norman Mason Collier, Private 291822, 1/7th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action 27th December 1917 in Syria, aged 32

 

EARLY LIFE

Son of John Mathew and Elizabeth Ann Collier, of 74 Mill St, Macclesfield, Cheshire.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

Norman enlisted with the local 7th Cheshire Regiment on 30 November 1915, receiving service number 4453. He was described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 164 pounds and had a 33 inch chest. He stated that he was employed as a drapers assistant.

On 20 March 1916 Norman was mobilised and sent for training. Three months later, on 1 July 1916, he was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers with service number 4922 (later renumbered to 291822), and on 13 July was drafted out to Egypt. Whilst en-route aboard HMT Huntsgreen, he was injured on 19 July by scalding his foot in a kettle of hot tea which had been placed on the ground at the end of a table. As a result, he was admitted to No 21 General Hospital on arrival at Alexandria, but re-joined his regiment after treatment.

Norman was reported to be wounded in the Macclesfield Times on 30 November 1917:

PTE N M COLLIER STRUCK

Mrs Collier, Mill Street, Macclesfield, has been officially notified that her son, Pte Norman M Collier, Welsh Fusiliers, was wounded on Nov 6th in Palestine. Pte Collier was drafted out to Egypt about eighteen months ago, shortly after having joined up. He is thirty-two years of age and was educated at the Modern School. In civil life he assisted his mother in the conduct of the business in Mill Street. His brother, Pte Stanley Collier, is training in a cadet school at Kimnel Park.

Norman recovered from his injury and rejoined his regiment, but was killed in action on 27 December 1917; his death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 18 January 1918:

WELSH FUSILIER KILLED

Official intimation has reached Mrs Collier, Mill St, Macclesfield, to the effect that her son, Pte Norman M Collier, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was killed in action in Palestine on December 27th. Pte Collier was wounded in the right arm on November 6th, but on recovery rejoined his regiment…

An announcement of his death was placed in the same newspaper by his family:

COLLIER – Killed in action in Egypt, on December 27th, Norman M Collier, the eldest son of the late Mr J M Collier and Mrs E A Collier, 74 Mill Street.

 

COMMEMORATION

Private Norman Collier is buried in Grave Ref. Q. 86. in Jerusalem War Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Norman Collier, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Norman Collier is commemorated on the Park Green, Town HallSt Michael’s Church and Macclesfield Grammar School war memorials.

 

NOTES

Brother of Private Stanley Collier, who served with the Cheshire Regiment and survived the war.

 

SOURCES

WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website

Macclesfield Times: 30 November 1917, 18 January 1918


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