The AIF Project

Cecil Claude Clifton COLLINS

Regimental number2300
Date of birth3 December 1897
Place of birthNhill, Victoria
SchoolKiata State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationTelephonist, GPO
AddressKiata via Nhill, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 8"
Weight123 lbs
Next of kinFather, Henry Collins, Kiata via Nhill, Victoria
Previous military serviceSwerved for 2 years in the Senior Cadets; 9 months in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date29 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll1 March 1916
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name38th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/55/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A17 Port Lincoln on 20 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll38th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 08-9 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Date of death07-9 June 1917
Age at death19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
129
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Elizabeth COLLINS, Percy Street, Portland, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: P A Collins, Kiata via Nhill
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 20 October 1916; disembarked Sierra Leone, West Africa; embarked Sierra Leone on board HT 'Willochra', 4 December 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 29 December 1916, and marched in to 10th Training Bn.

Proceeded overseas to France, 28 March 1917; taken on strength, 38th Bn, in the field, 2 April 1917.

Killed in action, 7-9 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, COLLINS Cecil Claude Clifton

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