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John James Collins



  • Title
  • Forenames
    John James AWMM
  • Surname
    Collins AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 80056 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    10 September 1881 AWMM Ireland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 77 North Street, Timaru AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Mrs G. W. Collins (wife), 77 North Street, Timaru AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 80056 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 29 January 1918 AWMM Bricklayer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • John James Collins was born on 10 September 1881 and came to New Zealand as an infant with his parents, Andrew and Margaret (nee Hone) Collins. He married Georgina Mary Winifred Mullin in 1904 at Timaru. John was employed as a bricklayer, working for the Timaru City Council. He and Georgina lived in Timaru, in North Street not far from his parents, before moving to Wanganui in the 1920s. He enlisted on 29 January 1918 at Timaru and served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force until 3 February 1919. On 23 November 1918 he was granted leave without pay until further orders on Demobilisation (3 February 1919). His major contribution to the war effort was probably as a bandsman. John was a notable bandsman, as were some of his brothers. He was participating in band contests as early as 1908 when, in the BB Flat Basses, he was judged as handling well a most difficult solo and was awarded second prize, silver medal. The following year he was second in the Kaiapoii Band Contest. In February 1914 John and his brother Patrick were members of the Regimental Band which was "playing splendidly" when it travelled to the contest in Auckland. At the 1914 annual meeting of the Band of the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment, John was recommended for the position of lance corporal and his brother Bernard was elected custodian. In late December 1916 John provided the music at a Maori entertainment held in the Maori Hall at the Arowhenua Pah in aid of the Lady Liverpool Maori Soldiers' Fund. It was in February 1918, after he had been called up in January, that he applied for and was granted leave of absence from his position on the public works staff as he was proceeding on active service. And in May at the weekly meeting of the Entertainment Orchestra a the conductor spoke highly of his valued services and presented him with a nice travelling bag, before he left for camp. John acknowledged the remarks and the present, and also gave some useful advice regarding band matters. A few days later at a Regimental Band concert in the Theatre Royal in aid of their comrades at the front, he gave a very tasteful B B solo, "Songs Without Words", by Hans, and "had to bow to an undeniable encore". In September 1918 Private J. J. Collins was one of the members of the Trentham Band when it visited Timaru. By May 1919 he was back in Timaru and present, along with his brother Patrick, at the annual meeting of the Band of the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment. And at the fifth grand recital by the band, held in the Theatre Royal on 8 February 1920, J. J. Collins, B.B. champion soloist, played the contest masterpiece, "Edelweiss". He had won several competitions with this solo, and as an executant on his "ponderous instrument" he had few rivals. John died in 1953; he and his wife are buried in Wanganui. Two of his brothers were killed in action - Bernard COLLINS on 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli, aged only 21 years, and Andrew Paul COLLINS on 1 September 1918. Another brother, William COLLINS a letter carrier living in Dunedin, also enlisted late in the war and did not serve abroad. Two nephews of John, sons of his sister Margaret - Patrick Louis SCANNELL (killed in action) and John Joseph SCANNELL - served in WWII. Biography provided by the Timaru Museum SCRoll project. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    29 September 1953 AWMM
    WanganuiManawatu-Wanganui AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Wanganui Block M, Plot 336 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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