Rolls of Honour: Holy Trinity, Idle; Greengates; Ploegsteert
Regiment: Leeds Pals
David Collins was born on the 2nd of November 1897 and baptised on the 19th December 1897 at St Augustine’s Church, the son of John Albert Collins born 1867 in Bradford and Mary Jane Thornton born 1867 in Saltaire. John and Mary married in Bradford in 1893 and went to live at 10 Leeds Road, Eccleshill.In 1901 the family were living at 41 Curzon Road and two children had been born, Richard in 1894 and David in 1897. John was working as a wool buyer. By 1911 the family had moved to 133 Otley Road, Shipley and John was still a wool buyer. Whilst his elder brother Richard was learning the wool business David at 13 years of age was still at school.
David enlisted in October 1916 as Private 38049 in the 15th/17th Battalion of the West Yorkshire (Prince of Wales Own) Regiment. His Regiment took part in the Arras offensive during the spring of 1917 fighting at the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe 3rd/4th May and at the capture of Oppy Wood on the 28th of June. They do not appear to have been in action until the following year when David saw a great deal of action during the first battles of the Somme 1918 at the Battle of St Quentin 21st/23rd March, at the first battle of Bapaume 24th/25th of March and then at the first battle of Arras on the 28th March. His Regiment then took part in the battles of Lys 9th to the 29th April
1918 at the Battle of Estaires 9th/11th April and the Battle of Hazebrouch 12th to the 15th of April when his Regiment was fighting in the defence of Nieppe Forest. On 31 May 1918, the Shipley Times & Express reported:“Pte David Collins, West Yorks Regt (Leeds Pals), of 5 The Grove, Idle, is reported missing since 12th April.“Aged 20, he worked for J W Ackroyd, auctioneer of Cheapside, Bradford, and has been at the front about 16 months.”He was later presumed dead. He is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial. The Memorial commemorates more than 11,000
servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave. The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentieres, the Forest of Nieppe, and Ploegsteert Wood. David is also remembered on the Greengates Memorial and the lychgate at Holy Trinity, Idle.David left his effects to his father who received £8.0.1d on the 8th December 1919, which included the War Gratuity of £8.0.0d.
Researched and written by Jean Britton, to whom grateful thanks