As part of my research into my family tree I am trying to find more information about my great-grandfather Sergeant Thomas John Collins, born in Rochdale 6 Jan 1855 died 7 July 1916 on the Somme serving in the 12 Batt. Manchester Regiment, his number 5549. He lived with my great-grandmother and their 6 children in a 2-up 2-down in Rice Street, Salford. I know there is a plaque with his name on it on the Thiepval Memorial but all I have found in this country is a 3-line report in a paper listing him as missing in action on what it now given as his date of death. I would like to know on which memorial his death was commemorated and if it still exists so if anyone can help, or point me in the right direction, I would be very grateful.
Are you sure about his date of birth? The 1911 census shows a Thomas J Collins living at 3 Rice St as being born about 1878. If his year of birth was 1855 he would have been 61 years of age when he was killed.
Hello Shred, Thanks for your interest. My apologies on the birth date, 1855 was when his father was born. You do have the correct Thomas an d details of his marriage at St Matthias. The notice of his missing was listed in the Manchester Evening News on 11 Aug 1916 and just reads: "Sergeant THOMAS JOHN COLLINS (39), (5549), Manchester Regiment; missing July 7. Wife: 3, Rice-street, Adelphi, Salford."
Not a lot is it? It's very sad that the war memorial at St Matthias was destroyed when the church was.
I have not forgotten this. I am sorry to report that I have been unable to visit the Salford History Library as it has been closed due to illness, it will remain closed until, at least, the 1st of October.
Hello Sand, thought you may be interested to know that a book dedicated to the activities of the 12th Battalion Manchester Regiment is available to purchase from The Museum of the Manchesters which is located in Ashton-u-Lyne. The Roll of Honour at the back lists Sgt. Thomas John Collins, and on p.9-10, there are accounts of the 12th's activities which actually took place on the 7th July 1916. It states 16 officers and 539 men fell that day. The text also states that "the gallantry of all ranks was such that the traditions of the regiment were never better sustained than on 7th July 1916". My wife's grandfather Pte. A Wakes belonged to the 12th Manchesters also, and fell in August 1918; hence our interest in the 12th. Hope this info is helpful to you?
Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Bn, Worcestershire Regt - DOW at Bray-sur-Somme on 18th February 1917
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment (pictured) - KIA during at trench raid at Hulluch, France on 18th May 1918
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA DOW 4th September 1918
Private 4131324 Sidney Lee, 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment, KIA during the bombing of Wallasey on 12th March 1941