Henry (Harry) COLLINS

Badge Number: S8135, Sub Branch: Booleroo


Service Numbers: 527, S73037
Enlisted: 17 February 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Last Unit: 6th (SA) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)
Born: Booleroo Centre, South Australia, 27 August 1890
Home Town: Booleroo Centre, Mount Remarkable, South Australia
Schooling: Booleroo West Primary School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural causes, Adelaide, South Australia , 3 August 1962, aged 71 years
Cemetery: Booleroo Centre Cemetery
Memorials: Booleroo Centre WW1 Roll of Honour, Booleroo Centre War Memorial, Burra District WW1 Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

17 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 527, Keswick, South Australia
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
4 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
4 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
8 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres, 2nd occasion - shell wound (back)
8 Aug 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion, The Battle of Amiens, 3rd occasion
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion
11 Apr 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal, 527, 27th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

30 Apr 1942: Enlisted Warrant Officer Class 2, S73037 , Volunteer Defence Corps (SA), Booleroo Centre, South Australia
9 Oct 1945: Discharged Warrant Officer Class 2, S73037 , 6th (SA) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)

Help us honour Henry Collins's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Key Photograph taken in London in December 1918 - Corporal Collins  - Three wound stripes

Henry (Harry) Collins – my military years - timeline

27th August 1890 - born on the family property ‘Maryfield’, Booleroo Centre SA.

His parents were James and Mary Jane (nee Robinson) Collins, the fifth born of seven children - Richard, Margaret, John, Ann, Henry (Harry), Mary and Reade.

Throughout his life he was known as ‘Harry’.

Harry attended Booleroo West Primary School. After schooling he commenced farming at ‘Maryfield’ with father and brothers, his occupation prior to enlisting.

17th February 1915 - enlisted at Keswick SA in the AIF, aged 24 years and 5 months, training at Ascot Park (also known as ‘Oaklands’) & Mitcham Army Camps – Adelaide.

7th April 1915 - joined C Company, 27th Infantry Battalion ‘The Blue and Brown Diamonds’ – Regimental Service Number 527

31st May 1915 - embarked at Outer Harbour – Adelaide, on His Majesties Australian Transport (HMAT) A2 ‘Geelong’

6th July 1915 - disembarked at Suez (Egypt), then trained at Aerodrome & Abbassia Camps on the outskirts of Cairo and Heliopolis for 2 months 

4th September 1915 - embarked on the Cunard liner ‘Invernia’ to island of Lemnos.

12th September 1915 – landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and then served in trenches called Cheshire Ridge, overlooking Sulva Bay.

14th October 1915 - transferred sick to the 7th Field Ambulance with enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine)

21st October 1915 - admitted to ANZAC Mudros Hospital (Lemnos Island)

27th October 1915 - admitted to St Andrews Hospital (Malta), travelling on hospital ship HS ‘Nevasa’ from Lemnos

6th November 1915 - embarked at Malta on the HS (Hospital Ship) ‘Hunslett’.

16th November 1915 - admitted to the 3rd Western General Hospital at Newport (England)

24th November 1915 – transferred to Hospital Cardiff

Christmas 1915 - spent in England convalescing, visiting Edinburgh (Scotland) while on leave in late January 1916

29th May 1916 - joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and re-joined his unit at Base Camp Etaples - France

1st July 1916 - re-joined C Company 27th Battalion in the Armentières trench lines in ‘Flanders’ area (Belgium).

8th July 1916 – marched south to the ‘Somme’ and fought in the Battle of Pozières 23rd July – 7th August 1916. An attack on 26th July 1916 failed and the whole division was withdrawn.

4th August 1916 - Harry in “C” Company was part of the fourth wave of the successful second attack near the Pozières Windmill.

‘Just after day light the next morning’ Harry was wounded in action by a sniper (gunshot wound to his left arm) and was admitted and transferred to the No 44 Casualty Clearing Station and No 13 Field Ambulance Station on 5th August 1916.

10th August 1916 - admitted to Beaufort War Memorial Hospital in Bristol, England via No 8 General Hospital at Rouen and transfer on HS ‘Makens’ embarking at Havre.

16th September 1916 - following treatment reported to No 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs (Salisbury, England)

Harry wrote a letter about being wounded from Beaufort Hospital - Bristol, to his sister Miss Annie Collins of Booleroo Centre. It was published in the Advertiser of 10th October 1916 page 9 as part of a regular ‘Letters from the Front’ section, entitled ‘Terrible Artillery’.

16th November 1916 - reported to the 7th Training Base at Folkestone (England) and then went back overseas to the AIF 2nd Divisional Base Depot at Etaples (France).


22nd November 1916 - appointed as Acting Corporal while at 2nd Divisional Base Depot – Etaples (France).


27th November 1916 - admitted to the 24th General Hospital at Etaples with mumps, and reverted to being a Private on evacuating sick


2nd December 1916 - transferred to the 14th Stationary Hospital at Etaples, later to Convalescent Depot at Boulogne (20 miles north of Etaples) and transferred back to 2nd Divisional Base at Etaples on Christmas Day 1916.


8th January 1917 – re-joined his unit in France which was holding the front line near Mametz, south of Pozières.


2nd & 26th March 1917 – participated in attacks north of Warlencourt (north-east of Pozières) and on Lagnicourt (north-east of Bapaume).


31st July 1917 - appointed as Lance Corporal.


20th September 1917 - took part in the Battle of Menin Road – Passchendaele – Polygon Wood (after moving back to the northern sector of the Western Front in Flanders – Belgium).


21st September 1917 - promoted to Temporary Corporal.


4th October 1917 - took part in the Battle of Broodseinde (Belgium).


8th October 1917 - wounded for the second time with a shell fragment wound to the back and right loin at the Battle of Broodseinde (east of Ypres - Belgium) and his status was reverted to Lance Corporal.


10th October 1917 - transferred from 3rd Field Ambulance to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station (Belgium), and then to the 24th General Hospital in Etaples (France) via an ambulance train.


16th October 1917 - taken to the Military Hospital at St Anselius (Walmer, England) on the HS ‘Jan Breydel’. Report indicates that the gunshot wound was “Shell wound - back - right loin - severe”.


29th November to 14th December 1917 - granted furlough leave, reporting to No 1 Convalescent Depot at Sutton Veny (England).  At Sutton Veny he was listed as AWL (absent without leave) from 3.30pm on 13th December to 5am 14th December 1917, being reprimanded and forfeiting two days pay. On the 15th December it was noted in Harry’s War Service Records that the AWL was listed in error.


7th February 1918 - proceeded overseas to France from the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill (England) via Southhampton.


10th February 1918 - re-joined his unit at Australian Infantry Base Depot in France.


13th February 1918 – re-joined the 27th Battalion in the Henneveux Sub-Area near the village of Cremarest (east of Boulogne - France), Battalion which was training and on rest away from the front line.


7th April 1918 - 27th Battalion returned to the battlefields of the Somme, around the Somme Canal (south-west of Albert), moving to the Camon–Rivery area (near Amiens) at the end of the month


10th June 1918 – promoted to Temporary Corporal as the 27th Battalion captured the German front line trenches around Morlancourt.  


1st July 1918 – promoted to Corporal.


4th July 1918 - the 27th Battalion undertook a supporting role in the successful Australian attack at Hamel, following up the initial success with a further, albeit small, advance on 8th July.


8th August 1918 - Allies launched their Hundred Days Offensive, the 27th Battalion fighting around Amiens.


8th August 1918 - Harry was wounded for the third time near Aubigney (north of Villers-Bretonneux and east of Amiens - France) with a gunshot wound to the upper jaw. He was admitted to the 15th Field Ambulance, onto the 20th Casualty Clearing Station, then transferred to the 22nd General Hospital via an ambulance train. 


13th August 1918 - transferred to a hospital ship and then to Fort Pitt Hospital at Chatham (England), being ‘invalided to England wounded’.


19th August 1918 - transferred to the 3rd Auxillary Hospital in Dartford.


4th - 18th September 1918 - granted furlough (sick) leave, during which time Harry likely visited Belfast (Ireland).  


18th September 1918 - reported to No 4 Convalescent Depot at Hurdcott.


7th October 1918 -  ‘marched out’ to Overseas Training Brigade, then was ‘taken on strength’ to Permanent Cadre (Unit of Instructors) at AIF Depot in UK on 21st October 1918.


11th November 1918 – Armistice signed


9th December 1918 - transferred on from Permanent Cadre - Overseas Long Brigade (via AIF Headquarters – Heytesbury) to Reserve Brigade Australian Army (RBAA) as a ‘1915 Personnel’ at Tidworth.


2nd January 1919 - Corporal Collins returned to Australia from England, embarking on the ship ‘Berrima’.


15th February 1919 - arrived back in Adelaide - Australia


11th April 1919 - discharged from the army at Keswick Barracks (Adelaide) and returned to Booleroo Centre to continue farming at ‘Maryfield’.



Total time of service was 4 years and 54 days, including 3 years and 261 days of service overseas.


Awarded Victory Medal, British War Medal, 1914/15 Star & ANZAC Gallipoli Commemorative Medallion


Memorials - WWI Honour Roll in Booleroo Centre Institute and Booleroo Centre WW1 Memorial


Wounded three times

– 4th August 1916 - gunshot wound to left arm near Pozières (France)

-     8th October 1917 - shell wound to the back and right loin at the Battle of Broodseinde (east of Ypres - Belgium)

-     8th August 1918 - gunshot wound to the upper jaw near Aubigney (north of Villers-Bretonneux and east of Amiens - France)  


Evacuated sick twice

-       14th October 1915 - with enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine) at Gallipoli

-       27th November 1916 – with mumps at Etaples (France)


1920 - purchased ‘Fullerville’ farm & commenced farming and living there - three miles west of Booleroo Centre


19 September 1923 - Harry married Rita Elizabeth Foot in the Methodist Church - Booleroo Centre. Harry & Rita had three children - James (Jim) born 8 May 1925, Valda Margaret (Bet) born 27 May 1927 and Robert George (Bob) born 20 May 1933.


1942-1945 Served as a Warrant Officer Class 2 with 6th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps 


1958 - retired to live in Booleroo Centre.


3rd August 1962 – died in Adelaide (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) and was buried in Booleroo Centre cemetery the next afternoon.