The AIF Project

Arthur William COLLINS

Regimental number1752
Place of birthBorn at Collingwood, Victoria
SchoolVictoria Park and Lithgow Street State Schools, Abbotsford and Collingwood, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationGrazier
AddressAlphington, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinFather, Mr Arthur Collins, Alphington, Victoria
Enlistment date6 July 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll6 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name51st Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/68/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 17 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 September 1916
Place of death or woundingMouquet Farm, Pozieres, France
Date of death3 September 1916
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
152
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Arthur and Elizabeth Margaret COLLINS, 128 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford, Victoria
Family/military connectionsCousins: Robert Wellwood; Leslie Hosken, both killed;.William Wellwood, died on return to Australia from war effects; Joseph Wellwood, Lt Flying Corp, won DFC; brother: Frederick Barton Collins, enlisted and served in 4th Division Artillery.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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