COLL, Daniel (Matthew)
(Service number 29148)

First Rank Private Last Rank Lance Corporal


Date 28 February 1885 Place of Birth Pleasant Point

Enlistment Information

Date 28 June 1916 Age 31
Address at Enlistment PO Box 49 Fairlie
Occupation Farm Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin James Coll (father) Fairlie, Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information 5 foot 10 1/2 inches tall, weight 160 (73kgs), chest 34-37 inches, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 18th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship C Company, Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 11 October 1916
Transport HMNZT 67 Tofua
Embarked From Wellington, N.Z. Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With 2 Company, 2 Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Last Unit Served With 2 Company, 2 Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western Europe
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
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


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

8 June 1917 - wounded by shell fire - admitted to 77 Field Ambulance; transferred - 53 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS); transferred 10 June - 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen; 16 June - transferred to 2 Convalescent Department; 22 June - transferred to 11 Convalescent Camp. 29 November 1917 - admitted sick to 2 NZ Field Ambulance - myalgia; 3 December - transferred to 3 Canadian CCS; 4 December - transferred to 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne; 1 January - transferred to 7 Convalescent Department, Boulogne; 7 February transferred to No.3 Rest Camp.

Post-war Occupations


Date 28 March 1918 Age 33
Place of Death Somme, France
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Grevillers (NZ) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Ashwick Flat War Memorial (as D Coll); Fairlie War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Daniel was born at Pleasant Point on 28 February 1885, the fifth child of James and Catherine (nee Hamilton) Coll. Daniel’s father James was born at Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland, in 1832 and arrived at Port Chalmers in 1863 aboard the ship “Mataura.” He joined the gold rush to Gabriel’s Gully, and then to the West Coast. Later he was employed road making and worked for Mr John Greig, fencing and draining on the Longbeach Estate. About 1875 he took up land at Waitohi, and later at Pleasant Point, purchasing part of the Allandale Estate at Fairlie in 1907. The farm "Glenure" was 304 acres at the southern end of Mount Michael Road, was where he died in later years on 30 April 1917. James had married Catherine Hamilton in Christchurch on 9 May 1876. Catherine had arrived in New Zealand about 1875, and they were to have eight surviving children. Catherine died at Temuka on 14 November 1933, and is buried with husband James in the Fairlie Cemetery.

Daniel most probably received his education at the Kakahu Bush and Upper Waitohi Schools, where his father was farming at the time. He was keen on his music, being well known for playing at local dance halls, and played football for the Mackenzie Club. Family recount the story that Dan recieved a white feather in an envelope from an anonymous source at some point prior to enlisting. Recieving such a feather was a form of social pressure, intimating that the recipient was a coward for not enlisting. The family has never forgotten the gesture, and it is quite likely it played a part in his decision to enlist (this was prior to the introduction of conscription). Prior to enlisting at Timaru, on 19 April 1916, he had been a member of the Ashwick Flat Patriotic Committee. His enlistment papers described him as being single, aged 31 years, Roman Catholic, 5 foot 10 ½ inches tall, weighing 160 pounds (73kgs), with a chest measuring 34–37 inches, and having a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He had nominated his father James of Fairlie as his next of kin, but this was changed to his mother Catherine who was living at Temuka after James’ death.

On 27 April 1916 after a farewell at the Timaru Drill Hall by the Mayor Mr ER Guinness and the Rev Dean Tubman, Daniel and the other local members of the 18th Reinforcements left on the first express for Temuka. There they were again fare welled at the Temuka Drill Hall by the residents of Temuka before boarding the second express train for Lyttelton. On arrival at Trentham Daniel underwent the usual three weeks basic training before moving to Featherston Camp for more in depth training in drill, bayonet fighting, tactics and musketry. On 11 October 1916 he left Wellington aboard HMNZT 67 Tofua as part of the 18th Reinforcements, C Company Canterbury Infantry Battalion, destined for Plymouth, Devon England. Travelling in convoy with HMNZT 66 Willochra via Albany, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Province, and the Republic of South Africa. They reached Plymouth, Devon, England, on 28 December. Here he marched into Sling Camp which was the main NZ training camp situated in the heart of the Salisbury Plains, and were attached to the strength of the Reserve Battalion.

Owing to the heavy casualties to the Division during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the demand for reinforcements during this period was great and training was reduced to an intensified course lasting anywhere from eight to twenty-eight days, according to the demand. On 1 February 1917 the reserves left for France and marched into camp at Etaples where they passed through another rigorous training course. From 24 February to 28 April the reserves were attached to the NZ Tunnelling Company who were at this time involved in digging tunnels in the underground chalk quarries of Arras, in preparations for the Battle of Arras (9 April – 16 May 1917). On 28 April Private Coll joined the 2nd Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment in the field. At this time the Battalion was south-west of St. Omer, in country that during peace time had been one of the training grounds of the French Army. Here more intensive training took place in preparation for the attack on the Messines and Wytschaete Ridges.

On 1 May 1917 the 2nd Battalion was back in the Divisional area where 500 of them were engaged for a fortnight on light railway construction under a Canadian Light Railway Operating Company, the rest engaged in work on the front line readying for the attack. On the night of 6-7 June the 2nd Battalion moved out to its assembly trenches - zero hour was fixed for 3.10 a.m. on the morning of 7 June. The attack began well. By 4.58 a.m. they had captured all its objectives in accordance with the timetable, and without meeting with serious opposition. The next day (the 8th) the shelling was still continuous and heavy; but the work of improving the trenches went on steadily and it was here that Private Coll was seriously wounded when buried in a shell strike on his position. He was admitted to 77 Field Ambulance then to 53 Casualty Clearance Station, before being transferred to No.3 Stationary Hospital at Rouen on 10 June. Six days later he was transferred to 2 Convalescent Depot and then to 11 Convalescent Camp on 22 June. Recovering, he was attached to the Reserve Depot at Etaples on 11 September 1917, before re-joining his unit in the field on 25 October.

At this time his unit was in billets at Quesques, where on 11 November 1917 Daniel was promoted to Lance Corporal. On November 29 he was admitted sick to No.2 NZ Field Ambulance with Myalgia. He was transferred to 3 Canadian Casualty Clearance Station on 3 December, before being moved on to 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Boulogne on 4 December. Almost a month later he was transferred on to 7 Convalescent Depot Boulogne on 1 January 1918, before being discharged to No.3 Rest Camp on at the beginning of the following month. On 11 February 1918 he was back at the Reserve Depot in Etaples, and finally re-joining his unit in their billets at St. Sylvestre Cappel on 9 March. Here training continued with the odd inter-unit rugby and cross-country sports thrown in. Meanwhile, the German offensive of March 21st had commenced and the Battalions were hurriedly recalled. By 26 March the New Zealand Division was holding a line from Hamel to the south of the village of Bebuterne. The enemy attacked on the next day but were beaten off but heavy shell fire continued for most of the morning. The next day, 28 March, Lance Corporal Coll was killed by enemy fire.

Daniel was possibly buried in the Auchonvillers Military Cemetery by the Rev JH Lush, but his name is not included among those buried in this cemetery. His name is one of those on the Grevillers (NZ) Memorial which commemorates almost 450 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the defensive fighting in the area from March to August 1918, and in the Advance to Victory between 8 August and 11 November 1918, who have no known grave. After the war his mother Catherine received a plaque and scroll, along with his British War Medal and Victory Medal. His name is also inscribed on the Timaru Memorial Wall, Fairlie War Memorial, and the Ashwick Flat Memorial.

Two of Daniel’s brothers also served: 25/961 Rifleman James Coll served in Egypt and Western Europe with 3 NZ Rifle Brigade; and 68574 Private William Coll served in Western Europe with 1 Auckland Infantry Brigade.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [July 2019]; New Zealand War Graves Project at (includes photos); New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at; "Town & Country" in Timaru Herald 19 April 1916, "Great day for Temuka" in Timaru Herald 27 June 1916, "Hospital report" in Marlborough Express 6 July 1917, "Casulaty list" in Colonist 12 April 1918, Report of detah in the Temuka Leader 16 April 1918, "The late Corporal Coll" in the Timaru Herald 11 June 1918, and "Ashwick Flat Memorial" in Temuka Leader 14 June 1921, courtesy of Papers Past at ;Assorted records at [July 2019]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records, Archives NZ (July 2019); SCRoll web submission by D Spillane, 8 October 2019

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Liz Shea, SC branch NZSG; Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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