Harold Victor Collins.

Harold was noted as being in the HCB on 15/5/1915, when he fist appears on roll, he was noted as being in A Company of the 2/1st Battalion the HCB.  Upon enlistment he indicated that he was living at Offord Darcy.  Other sources indicate that he also gave his address as Offord Cluny.

He was a private with the HCB number of 1065. 

He was posted to the base depot B.E.F. France on 26th July 1916, he was rationed up to and for that day. Order was part 2 No. 171 issued by W. L. Stephenson, 2/Lieut. & acting Adjutant, 2/1st Hunts. Cyclist Battalion. The order was issued at Well Camp Alford at 8-00 p.m., 28th July 1916. He was stationed in Lincolnshire with the 2/1st HCB 'Coast watching'.

When he arrived in France he was allocated the new Army number of 43047 and posted to the 1st Battalion the Bedford Regiment.

He was also wounded in the ankle in October 1917 and was noted a being treated in a Base Hospital in France as well as in Manchester Hospital.  He died in that Hospital on Tuesday 13/3/1918 of Pthisis aged just 20 years old.  A local newspaper, untitled, 7/12/1917  = Pte. H. Collins (Cyclists), of Offord, is in Manchester Hospital, where he is progressing favourably, after being wounded in the ankle.

He is recorded as having had a sister Olive. His funeral took place at Offord Darcy Church and he is buried in Offord Darcy Cemetery.

Harold was the son of Christopher and Louisa Collins [nee Smith], of Offord Cluny, Huntingdonshire. He was born 1897 with his birth being registered in the June quarter 1897 ref - St.Neots 3b, 295.

Harold was baptised on June 6, 1897 - he was the son of Christopher & Louisa Collins [nee Smith].

19/10/17 = Private H. Collins Cyclists, of Offord Cluny, has been wounded in the ankle, and is in hospital in France.

He is buried in the Churchyard of St. Peters Offord Darcy, Huntingdonshire. An entry from the Offord Darcy Church Burial records dated March 19th, 1918, 'Harold Victor Collins, aged 20, died at Ladywell Sanatorium, Rendleton. of a disease contracted in France'.

Entry from the autograph book of Muriel Epton, whose parents owned and ran the local shop in Willoughby, Lincolnshire and by the mere fact that he signed the book indicates that he was in Willoughby as well as the 2/1st HCB whose job it was to patrol the coast line day and night to keep England's shores safe from invasion.   He is also recorded on the war memorial at Offord Cluny War as well.

Many thanks to Herbert Norris, who is carrying out research on the Offord Darcy Roll of Honour, for additional information on the family and background details on this soldier.


If you can help with any data on this Huntingdonshire Cyclist please contact me at huntscycles@btinternet.com

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. . Martyn Smith