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Collin, J.H., 2nd Lieut., V.C., 1918

King's Own Royal Regiment Acc Nu KO1017/141

Joseph Henry Collin Headstone

Medal Index Card

Liverpool Daily Post Saturday 21/06/1918

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail Friday 14/11/1919

In Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture is the Commonwealth War Grave of 2692, 7468, 253892, 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Henry Collin, serving with the 1/4th Battalion King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) who died on the 09/04/1918.

Joseph Henry Collin was born on the 11th April 1893, baptised on the 20th April 1893 at St Bede's Church, Jarrow, to Joseph, born 1853, at Carlisle, died 12th January 1931, [the eldest son of George and Hannah Taylor], and Mary Jane, [nee McDermott], born 1865, at 12 Drury Street, in Jarrow, Durham, later moving to 8 Petteril Terrace, Harraby, Carlisle.

Joseph and Mary were married at Carlisle in July 1887. They had seven other children, all who were born in Carlisle, William James Collin, born January 1890 died 1964, [married a Dorothy born 13th October 1896 residing in 1939 at 49 Middleton Road, York], Sarah Ann Collin, born October 1891, Thomas Collin, born 11th June 1897, [an Engine Driver who married an Edith H, born 2nd May 1895, and in 1939 were residing at 78 Oswald Street, Carlisle with possibly two children, Joseph born 31st January 1921 and one other?], Christopher Collin, born 1st September 1899, died 1972, John McDermott Collin, born 22nd July 1902, married an Alice, born 24th December 1904, [they were residing at 31 Hillcrest Avenue, Carlisle, in 1939 with at least one son, Keith born 26th December 1934], Margaret Hannah McDermott Collin, born 8th June 1903, died 1975 and Vincent McDermott Collin born 2nd January 1906, died 1977, [he married a Mary, born 14th February 1908 residing in 1939 at 16 Graham Street, Carlisle with two children].

Joseph Henry Collin was educated at St. Patrickís School on Albert Street, now part of Georgian Way. Now Newman RC School at Carlisle.

At the outbreak of war Joseph was working at Hepworths and Sons as an Assistant Salesman, then located in English Street in Carlisle, but in 1915 he enlisted in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders with whom he served in France, being promoted to Sergeant. Selected for a commission on the 28th August 1917, he was posted in October 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant to the 1/4th Battalion Kingís Own in France.

He was 24 years old, when he was awarded the VC for his actions on the 9th April 1918 at Givenchy, France. He was killed in action whilst performing the act.

His Citation reads as follows:- "For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice in action. After offering a long and gallant resistance against heavy odds in the Keep held by his platoon, this officer, with only five of his men remaining, slowly withdrew in the face of superior numbers, contesting every inch of the ground. The enemy were pressing him hard with bombs and machine-gun fire from close range. Single-handed 2nd Lt. Collin attacked the machine gun and team. After firing his revolver into the enemy, he seized a Mills grenade and threw it into the hostile team, putting the gun out of action, killing four of the team and wounding two others. Observing a second hostile machine gun firing, he took a Lewis gun, and selecting a high point of vantage on the parapet whence he could engage the gun, he, unaided, kept the enemy at bay until he fell mortally wounded. The heroic self-sacrifice of 2nd Lt. Collin was a magnificent example to all.".

The Victoria Cross was presented to his parents by the King Edward VII on the 25th July 1918. It was presented to the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum by his family in 1956.

Every year Carlisle schools compete for the 'Collin Shield', a trophy for a mile race presented in his memory by his family. This is no longer competed for as the Shield is now on permanent display in the Cumbria Museum of Military Life in Carlisle Castle.

Joseph Henry Collin is remembered in Carlisle where there is a Blue Plaque to him on his family house in Carlisle, and a road named after him.

Source: The London Gazette, 25 June 1918.

Source: King's Own Border Regiment Museum

Joseph's father died on the 12th January 1931 and left effects of £165 to Thomas Collin locomotive engine driver.

Joseph Henry Collin left a will of £156 7s 2d to Mary Collin wife of Joseph Colin.

A Victoria Cross commemorative paving stone was unveiled to honour the memory of South Tyneside Victoria Cross winner, Joseph Henry Collin on the 9th April 2018 at 11am.

Joseph Henry Collin is remembered at Jarrow on J2.21.

He is also remembered on the Harraby Road, Carlisle War Memorial, in Our Lady and St Joseph's Catholic Church, Carlisle, and at Lancaster on a Regimental Plaque.

A second Victoria Cross commemorative paving stone was dedicated in Carlisle on 21st June 2018 to commemorate the Centenary of the date when Collinís VC was announced in the London Gazette. Border TV carried a short report.

Acknowledgements : Tony Parrini

Carlisle War Memorial
King's Own Regiment Museum
London Gazette Citation Issue 30770 Page 7618
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum
The CWGC entry for 2nd Lieutenant Collin

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk