No.5061 Private William Felix Collins
William Felix Collins was born about 1893 in Werribee Victoria to Isabella (Bella) and William Collins.
He was the youngest of three brothers:
- John Sandford
- Ronald William
- James Alexander
- Jessie Helena
- Catherine Florence
- Margaret Mary.
William enlisted in the Army on 18 October 1915 in Townsville, Queensland. He was aged 22 years and 8 months and he was 5 feet 8 inches tall. William weighed 9 stone 9 pounds and had a chest measurement of thirty two to thirty five inches. His complexion was listed as dark, with brown eyes and dark brown hair. All of this was recorded at the time of his enlistment.
William was with the 16th Reinforcements, 9th Battalion, and embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A16 Star of Victoria on 31 March 1916. He arrived in Alexandria, Egypt on 20 May 1916. William marched out to join battle on 13 July 1916 in France.
He was admitted to hospital sick, several times and one of the admissions was due to appendicitis 3 March 1917 in France. William was in and out of hospital, while serving in the AIF. He had a special commendation in his file: "...during the military operations from December 17th 1917 till August 23rd 1918, Pte. Collins has shown conspicuous ability and great personal courage in face of terrific shell and machine gun fire. At Bois De Cherpy on the 19th August 1918 this soldier volunteered for all duties, necessitating great personal risks. At a time, when his Company was in urgent need of replenishing its ammunition supply, this soldier personally led a carrying party through two successive enemy barrages, and succeeded in carrying out his task. By his continuous example in face of most adverse circumstances, he has been a source of great inspiration to his comrades and incidentally to the Battalion at large".
William returned to Australia from England, on 16 January 1919, arriving 4 February in 1919, and was discharged on 23 April 1919.
After returning back to Australia, William lived in Queensland until he died. He married Margaret Mary Donlan in 1922, in Queensland and they had one child.
In The Townsville Daily Bulletin, 23 July 1929, p.6 it was reported that he was charged with driving his motor car at a faster rate than four miles per hour over a junction and they imposed a fine of 1 pound 16/6 with 3/6 costs.
William’s mother died in 1931 in Murrumbeena, Victoria. Electoral Rolls in 1954 show William and Margaret living in Resolution Street, Hughenden and that he is a motor car proprietor.
William’s wife Margaret May Collins applied to the Records office on 8 July 1967 for the Gallipoli Medal. There is no note to say whether she received an acknowledgement or the medal.
William passed away on 19 September in 1960, in Hughenden Queensland, he was 67 years old.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
National Archives of Australia
1929 'No title', Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954), 23 July, p. 6. , viewed 05 Sep 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60240211