Arthur William Collins was born in 1888 in Bittesby, Leicestershire and baptised at Claybrooke on 22nd April, that year.
In 1891 the family was living in Willey where William, an agricultural labourer, had been born. Arthur’s mother, Jane (nee Loyde) came from Church Eaton in Shropshire. They were still there, at Cross in Hand Cottage, in 1901 where William was now a waggoner on a farm. No occupation was given for thirteen year old Arthur.
By 1911 they had moved to Rugby, Arthur William was 23, a cement loader. He lived with his parents at 128 New Street, New Bilton. William was also worked at the Cement Works, as a shunter.
Arthur William Collins enlisted with the 15th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment (private 17406), probably sometime in 1916. In October that year he had returned home as the Rugby Advertiser of 21 October, 1916 reports :
AN ABSENTEE.—At the Rugby Police Court, on Thursday (before T Hunter, Esq), Pte Arthur Collins, of the R.W.R, 45 New Street, New Bilton, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his Battalion since October 14th, and was remanded to await an escort.
In the report of his death, it states that he was wounded in September 1916, probably during the Somme Offensive. A few months earlier, in early July his younger brother Harry had been killed and it was reported then that the family had three other sons serving.
Arthur William Collins died on 26th October 1917, the first day of the Second Battle of Passchendaele, the final phase of the 3rd Battle of Ypres. His body was never found or identified and his name is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He was 29 years of age.
His parents address was given as 45 New Street, New Bilton. He is also listed on the Croop Hill Memorial, Rugby.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM