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John Law Collins

All Black from 1964 to 1965, New Zealand Maori Representative from 1964 to 1966

John Law Collins

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  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Law AWMM
  • Surname
    Collins AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Johnny AWMM
  • Service number
    39653 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
    1 February 1939 Public - Lorraine M - Other relative - 10 October 2015 - Family Records
  • Place of birth
    Tokomaru Bay, East Coast, New Zealand Public - Angela - Other relative - 3 May 2016 - Family History (John Collins is my Uncle. My Father, Edward Collins, is his brother)
  • Birth notes
    Tokomaru Bay, East Coast, New Zealand Public - Angela - Other relative - 3 May 2016 - Family History (John Collins is my Uncle. My Father, Edward Collins, is his brother)
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mother - Mrs Tangi Collins of Tokomaru Bay Public - Lorraine M - Other relative - 10 October 2015 - Family Records
  • Relationship status
    married 1966 Ingrid Nia King Public - Lorraine M - Other relative - 10 October 2015 - Family Records


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    1948-1960 AWMM
    The Malayan Emergency AWMM
    The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) After the defeat of the Japanese in WWII, a new problem emerged for Malaya. In 1948 Chinese guerrilla fighters (who had been armed and air supplied by the British during the war) emerged from the jungle and under Chin Peng, began their terror campaign to take over the country by force. Thus an intense jungle war began, fought by the British, British Commonwealth and Malay forces against the Malayan Communist Party. The Australian Government of the day, along with many others in the Western bloc, was apprehensive about the spread of international communism. Initially there was not much coordination between security forces until Lt.-Gen.Sir Harold Briggs was appointed as Director of Operations in 1949. His war executive committees (including Sir Henry Gurney) coordinated emergency operations, and created 500 new villages for Malayan citizens who lived in remote areas beyond government protection. These citizens had lived in constant fear that the Communists would appear and force them to supply food and money. Travelling was dangerous as a Communist ambush could lurk behind any roadside bush. So, by depriving the insurgents of their crucial sources of supplies and information, the Communists began to attack the new settlements. But the security forces were now fighting on their own ground, and proved to be too strong for the Communists. These forces were able to concentrate on jungle operations, thereby destroying the Communists and their camps. This was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. It was to be the only war the West had won against Communism. The Emergency lasted for twelve years, ending in 1960. Australia suffered 15 killed and 27 wounded in action. From AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    39653 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
  • 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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    • Husband of Ingrid; father of two.

      All Black 1965 - 1965; also represented New Zealand as a New Zealand Maori 1964 - 1966. AWMM
    • JOHN LAW COLLINS - Gisborne Photo News
      John Collins is 25 years of age, and is the son of Mrs T. Collins, Tokomaru Bay, and the late Mr B. W. Collins. He was born in Tokomaru Bay, and spent all his school years there, until coming to Gisborne to work as a wool-classer for Gisborne Sheep-farmers.
      In 1958 he made his debut in first-class rugby when he played for Poverty Bay against East Coast at Ruatoria.
      In 1959 he played in a North Island All Black trial match at Napier.
      After enlisting in the New Zealand Army for service in Malaya, Collins virtually tossed serious rugby aside, but while overseas played for the Commonwealth Services team and the All Malayan rugby side.
      This year (1964) he returned to Gisborne, and was immediately snapped up by the P.B. selector, promoted to captain, and established himself as the star back of the team.
      Still virtually unknown outside of Gisborne, he was "discovered" by the national selectors while playing against Bay of Plenty at Rugby Park, when he made one of his classic 70-yard solo runs, cutting through the defence as though it didn't exist, to score under the posts.
      Since then, he has not looked back, being selected for the North Island team for the annual inter-island match, and for the Maori All Blacks' tour of Fiji. The tour was his first N.Z. representation.
      A big man for a five-eighths, he is a dashing player, and could well have greater things to come.
      Prior to the Maori All Blacks' tour, he had played only 19 first-class games in New Zealand, 15 of them for Poverty Bay.
      He was then re-employed by Sheepfarmers Public - Lorraine M - Other relative - 10 October 2015 - Gisborne Photo News 13 August 1964
Read more


About death

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  • Death
    28 May 2007 AWMM
    Age 68 AWMM
    GisborneGisborne AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    Whangara Urupa, Whangara, Gisborne Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 10 October 2015 - Family Information
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Former All Black and Poverty Bay rugby great John Law Collins died in Gisborne on Monday. He was 68.
    Second five-eighth Collins was 25 when he became an All Black in the 1964-65 season.
    He played a total of three tests against Australia and South Africa, all of which New Zealand won.
    He also represented New Zealand Maori from 1964 to 1966.
    He made his debut for Poverty Bay in 1958 and his last season was 1968 in a career interrupted by active service in the New Zealand Army in Malaysia.
    He played 50 games for Poverty Bay and was a Marist club stalwart.
    He is survived by wife, Ingrid, and two children. Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 10 October 2015 - NZ Herald 30 May 2007
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of John Law Collins

Leave a note

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  • Uncle John, kind heart and always a softie. Miss your smile.
    Public - Vivienne - Other relative - 28 February 2017
  • Dad, you were an inspiration to me and I still miss you every day. You will always be in my heart and I thank you for the man you have made me today.
    Public - Aaron - Sibling - 18 May 2016
  • To my Dearest Uncle you are always in our hearts and miss you. From your nephew and family Chris , Jackie, Steven, Jordan, CJ and Olivia-Rose Kaua /Steel.
    Public - Chris - Other relative - 17 March 2016



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Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
28 February 2017VivienneAuckland, New ZealandOther relative
18 May 2016AaronScotlandSibling
03 May 2016AngelaHastings, Hakes Bay New ZealandOther relative
17 March 2016ChrisHamiltonOther relative
10 October 2015Lorraine MGisborne, NZOther relative
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