RFA West Lancs Bdes
681436 GNR. J. E. COLLINSON. R.F.A.
John Edward Collinson was born on 13 December 1891 in Liverpool and baptised there on 23 February the following year. His father was Charles James Collinson. Charles was born in Westchester, New York State, USA in 1863, and was a baker by trade. Charles’s parents were English and the family came back to England in the 1870s. In 1884, Charles married Mary Eliza Barnes (b. 1862 in Birkenhead), and they had nine children but 3 died young. The survivors were: Florence (b. 1887), then John, then Charles (b. 1894), Margaret (b. 1896), Robert (b. 1899) and Alice Maud (b. 1901). In 1911, the family was living at 4 Proctor Street, Boaler Street, Liverpool. John was a butcher.
John probably enlisted in 1915 (possibly together with his brother Charles). His service number, 681436, is among a batch assigned to “D” Battery in 286 Brigade (who were all recruited in Liverpool) so it seems likely that he did his training with them. But Soldiers’ Effects and CWGC record his battery as D/175 when he was killed. 175 Bde had been attached to 34th Division but they left that Division in January 1917 to become an Army Field Brigade. So it’s possible this was the point at which John was transferred. In June, 175 Bde were engaged in the defence of Armentières, in the same area as 286 Bde. John was killed on 9 June, he was 25 years old.
Service No: 681436
Date of Death: 09/06/1917
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty, 175 Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: VIII. C. 37.
Cemetery/Memorial: CITE BONJEAN MILITARY CEMETERY, ARMENTIERES
Additional Information: Son of Charles James and Mary Eliza Collinson, of 4 Proctor Street, Boaler Street, Liverpool.
John’s brother Charles also enlisted in the Artillery, in April 1915, but he was discharged a month later when he was found to be suffering from tuberculosis. Charles recovered and re-enlisted, this time in the Royal Air Force, in April 1918. I don’t have any more details of his service, but he survived the War and died in Liverpool in 1973.