Profile

COLLINS, John James
(Service number 80056)

Aliases
First Rank Last Rank

Birth

Date 10 September 1881 Place of Birth Ireland

Enlistment Information

Date 29 January 1918 Age 36 yrs
Address at Enlistment 77 North Street, Timaru
Occupation Bricklayer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. Married Georgina Winifred MULLIN on 31 August 1904 at Timaru.
Next of Kin Mrs G. W. COLLINS (wife), 77 North Street, Timaru
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 152 lbs. Chest measurement 37-40 inches. Complaxion fair. Hair brown. Eyes brown. Eyes both 6/6. Hearin and colour vision both good. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. No notification for consumption. No treatment in a sanitorium or mental institution. Never discharged from H. M. Service. Had 6 weeks absence from work with lumbago in April 1917. Classified 'A'.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Date
Transport
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns
Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date 23 April 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Bricklayer

Death

Date 29 September 1953 Age 72 yrs
Place of Death Wanganui
Cause
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Wanganui
Memorial Reference Block M, Plot 336
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John James COLLINS was born on 10 September 1881 and came to New Zealand as an infant with his parents, Andrew and Margaret (nee HONE) COLLINS. He married Georgina Mary Winifred MULLIN in 1904 at Timaru. John was employed as a bricklayer, working for the Timaru City Council. He and Georgina lived in Timaru, in North Street not far from his parents, before moving to Wanganui in the 1920s. He enlisted on 29 January 1918 at Timaru and served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force until 3 February 1919. On 23 November 1918 he was granted leave without pay until further orders on Demobilisation (3 February 1919). His major contribution to the war effort was probably as a bandsman. John was a notable bandsman, as were some of his brothers. He was participating in band contests as early as 1908 when, in the BB Flat Basses, he was judged as handling well a most difficult solo and was awarded second prize, silver medal. The following year he was second in the Kaiapoii Band Contest. In February 1914 John and his brother Patrick were members of the Regimental Band which was "playing splendidly" when it travelled to the contest in Auckland. At the 1914 annual meeting of the Band of the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment, John was recommended for the position of lance corporal and his brother Bernard was elected custodian. In late December 1916 John provided the music at a Maori entertainment held in the Maori Hall at the Arowhenua Pah in aid of the Lady Liverpool Maori Soldiers' Fund. It was in February 1918, after he had been called up in January, that he applied for and was granted leave of absence from his position on the public works staff as he was proceeding on active service. And in May at the weekly meeting of the Entertainment Orchestra a the conductor spoke highly of his valued services and presented him with a nice travelling bag, before he left for camp. John acknowledged the remarks and the present, and also gave some useful advice regarding band matters. A few days later at a Regimental Band concert in the Theatre Royal in aid of their comrades at the front, he gave a very tasteful B B solo, "Songs Without Words", by Hans, and "had to bow to an undeniable encore". In September 1918 Private J. J. Collins was one of the members of the Trentham Band when it visited Timaru. By May 1919 he was back in Timaru and present, along with his brother Patrick, at the annual meeting of the Band of the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment. And at the fifth grand recital by the band, held in the Theatre Royal on 8 February 1920, J. J. Collins, B.B. champion soloist, played the contest masterpiece, "Edelweiss". He had won several competitions with this solo, and as an executant on his "ponderous instrument" he had few rivals. John died in 1953; he and his wife are buried in Wanganui. Two of his brothers were killed in action - Bernard COLLINS on 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli, aged only 21 years, and Andrew Paul COLLINS on 1 September 1918. Another brother, William COLLINS a letter carrier living in Dunedin, also enlisted late in the war and did not serve abroad. Two nephews of John, sons of his sister Margaret - Patrick Louis SCANNELL (killed in action) and John Joseph SCANNELL - served in WWII.

Sources

NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0027087) [13 October 2014]; Timaru Herald, 14 & 28 October 1908, 27 April 1909, 15 October 1909, 21 May 1910, 5 February 1914, 16 April 1914, 7 April 1915, 1 January 1917, 16 January 1918, 12 April 1918, 18 & 20 May 1918, 18 September 1918, 21 May 1919, 7 February 1920, Otago Daily Times, 16 January 1918 (Papers Past) [13 & 19 October 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [13 October 2014]; NZ Marriage & Death Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [13 October 2014]

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