(Service number 15339)

First Rank (1) Rifleman Last Rank (1) Rifleman. (3) Private


Date 31 August 1865 Place of Birth County Kerry, Ireland

Enlistment Information

Date (1) 5 April 1916; (2) 11 June 1918; (3) 28 January 1920 Age (1) 5 April 1916 - 51 yrs 1 mth; (2) 11 June 1918 - 52 yrs; (3) 28 January 1920 52 yrs 11 mths.
Address at Enlistment (1) Quirks Hotel, Tauranga. (2) Morrison Bush
Occupation (1) Labourer (Public Works Dept). (2) Labourer. (3) Labourer
Previous Military Experience Timaru Naval Volunteers; Timaru Rifle Volunteers - 7 years total service
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin (1) Mrs Mary GALLEN (sister), Rotorua. (2) Mr J. COLLINS (brother), Te Kuiti
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information (1) 31 March 1916 - Height 5 feet 6 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes blue-grey. Hair grizzled. Scar on bridge of nose. (2) 11 June 1918 - Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 148 lbs. Chest measurement 35-38 inches. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision good. Limbs and chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Illnesses - enteric 13 years ago. 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 sanatorium or mental institution. No absence from work through ill-health or accident. Had been discharged from H. M. Service. No distinctive marks. Fit for Home Service. (3) 28 January 1920 - Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 144 lbs. Chest measurement 34-38 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes hazel. Hair grey. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movementt of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth fair. Illnesses - slight bronchitis. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. Not fits. Absence from work - bronchitis. Class B. Fit for Home Service with A. S. Corps.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 9th Reinforcements 1st Battalion, E Company
Date 29 July 1916
Transport Waitemata or Ulimaroa
Embarked From Wellington Destination Devonport, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
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 (1) 10 November 1917. (2) 16 August 1918 Reason (1) No longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service and over age. (2) Home Srvice Branch, N.Z.E.F. terminates his actual service in home service duties in the R.N.Z. Artillery.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Admitted to hospital - sick - on 29 October 1916; on 29 December admitted to the Field Ambulance; on 9 January 1917 to the Australian Casualty Clearing Station and from there to the Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne.

Post-war Occupations


Date 29 September 1952 Age 85 yrs
Place of Death Silverstream, Hutt
Memorial or Cemetery Taita Lawn Cemetery
Memorial Reference Block 11, Row M, Plot 39
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

This John COLLINS was born in Ireland, the son of Michael and Margaret (nee DREW) COLLINS of Timaru. When John first attested on 5 April 1916 at Trenrtham, his next-of-kin was his sister Mary who had married John GALLEN in 1897 in Auckland. At that time she was named as the eldest daughter of Michael COLLINS of Timaru. John was not young when he enlisted. His actual birthdate and age at various times are rather debatable. The date recorded in this database is that given as declaration (31 August 1865) in his Personnel Record. Date given on attesting was 3 March 1871 or 1875; elsewhere given as 3 March 1866, 3 March 1867 and 3 March 1868. John was overseas for just over a year. During that time he was admitted to hospital, to the field ambulance; and to the casualty clearing station. On 1 March 1917 he was transferred to Home Establishment at Codford, England, where he was classified as unfit. On return to New Zealand he first intended to go to Rotorua, then to 7 Guilford Street, Wellington. John embarked for New Zealand, onee of a contingent of invalided soldiers, on 15 August 1917 at Devonport by "Tofua", and reached Auckland in mid-October. He attested again in June 1918, saying that he had previously served in the 15th Reinforcements N.Z.E.F. and was discharged as medically unfit. He had been medically examined in March 1916 at Tauranga and found fit. In the medical examination of 11 June 1918 he was found fit for Home Service. At this time he may have been living at Wakefield. On 7 July 1919 John gave as his next-of-kin his brother, J. COLLINS, at Te Kuiti, when he was posted to A.S.O. on Probation. And he said that his home was Timaru, and that letters during the next three months should be addressed to High Street, Timaru. This posting was cofrimed, then on 16 October 1919 he was granted leave with pay on Demobilisation (not entitled to 28 Days Pay). On 28 January 1920 his sister, Mrs M. GALLEN, at Rotorua, was again his next-of-kin. And John's last residential address was 7 Guilford Terrace, Wellington. He was still single. He declared that he would truly and faithfully perform the duties imposed upon him in his capacity as a member of the staff of the Defence Department. He was now posted to the rank of Private. John was admonished on 19 March 1920 for absenting himself without leave from 8am 18 January 1920 until 5pm 18 January when required for duty. And on 17 June 1920 he was fined 10/6 for absenting himself from Camp without leave from 5am 7 June until 11am 14 June. Then on 27 July 1920 he was posted as a Deserter and struck off Camp Strength. A Court of Inquiry was assembled at Headquarters, Trentham Military Camp, on 27 July 1920 to inquire into the illegal absence and deficiencies of Kit (if any) of TES/645 Private John Collins (T.E.S. Quartermasters Department). In eveidence it was said that John had been absent from Camp without leave since 6 July 1920 and was still absent, that articles in his Kit were found to be deficient (trousers, blanket 1 pair boots, working shirt, under shirt, 1 pair socks, holdall, jersey, housewife, towel), and that his Pay Card showed he had a Credit balance. John died at the age of 85 at Silverstream in the Hutt Valley and is buried in the Taita Lawn Cemetery, near another Timaru man, Dennis Francis LANE. He was a brother of Michael COLLINS who was killed in action at Ypres in 1917.


Cenotaph Database [30 November 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0027079) [17 October 2014]; Timaru Herald, 24 September 1897, Dominion, 29 July 1910, New Zealand Herald, 16 October 1917 (Papers Past) [2013; 22 & 23 October 2014]; Taita Lawn Cemetery burial records (Hutt City Council) [October 2014]; Taita Lawn Cemetery headstone transcription (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [24 October 2014]

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