Author Topic: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters  (Read 1704 times)

Offline Csnewton2701

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Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« on: January 12, 2017, 03:02:54 PM »
Hello everyone.

Im currently researching my great great grandad. His name was Thomas John Collins he served with the 12th battalion manchester  regiment. His service number was 5549. He was killed in action on the 7/7/1916. If anyone knows of any information regarding photographs a push in the right direction would be greatful. I've tried tbe museums, libraries and have ordered a book but i cant find any photos of the 12th. All i have found on him is his service number and that there is is a plaque at Thiepval.

Regards

Chris
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 03:39:42 PM by Pete Th »

Offline Pete Th

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 03:52:55 PM »
Chris, please find below some information on your GG grandfather:

From Soldiers Died in the Great War (SDGW):
Name:   Thomas John Collins
Birth Place:   Rochdale, Lancs
Residence:   Salford, Lancs
Death Date:   7 Jul 1916
Death Place:   France and Flanders
Enlistment Place:   Manchester
Rank:   Sergeant
Regiment:   Manchester Regiment
Battalion:   12th Battalion
Regimental Number:   5549
Type of Casualty:   Killed in action
Theatre of War:   Western European Theatre

His War Gratuity was sent to his widow, Arabella, and their children.

Thomas entered a theatre of war (Western Front) on 16th July 1915.

Medal entitlement: 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

His Service Records don't appear to have survived (many were destroyed in the WW2 Blitz).

There is a brief history of the 12th Battalion on our website (http://www.themanchesters.org/12th%20batt.htm)

No photos, sorry.

Hope this helps.

Pete
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Offline Pete Th

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 04:21:22 PM »
A bit more info:

Thomas John Collins married Arabella Edmondson in 1901 at Salford.

1911 Census:

Thomas born Rochdale about 1878. Employed as a Calanderman (?) cloth finishing (cotton)
Arabella born Salford about 1879. Employed as a spinner, flax.
Resided 3 Rice St, Salford.

Children:
Annie (born about 1902)
William (born about 1904)
Elizabeth (born 1905)
Joseph (born 1909)
John (born about 1911)
Arabella (born 1915)

There is a post on the excellent SWARM (Salford War Memorials) forum which contains more information, including newspaper articles, sadly no photos. Please click on the below link:

http://salfordwarmemorials.proboards.com/thread/1991/thomas-john-collins

Best regards
Pete
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Offline charlie

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 07:40:16 PM »
The amount of fallen on 7th July (539) stated on the SWARM site in not quite accurate. The War Diary and the battalion history record that 16 Officers and 539 Other Ranks were either killed, wounded or missing. Reference to the CWGC indicates that there were 208 fatalities in the Battalion on the 7th. 199 of these have no known grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Charlie

Offline Csnewton2701

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 07:44:47 PM »
Thank you all.

I have found a bit more on the 12th battalion. That it was part of the 52nd brigade 17th northern division. During July 1916 they took part in the battle of albert.

Chris

Offline charlie

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 07:46:44 PM »

Thomas born Rochdale about 1878. Employed as a Calanderman (?) cloth finishing (cotton)

"Calender" operator. A machine used to press and finish fabrics or paper between rollers.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 04:06:15 PM »
Chris,

As you so rightly say, the 12th Manchesters were in the 52nd Brigade of the 17th (Northern) Div.  The others in that brigade were the 9th Northumberland Fusiliers, the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers and the 9th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regt.).

On the 7th July 1916, the Brigade was called upon to attack and take a German trench known as Quadrangle Support, which was located on the western side of Mametz Wood, the wood itself (near Contalmaison) being about to be attacked by the 38th (Welsh) Division.

At 2 am the 10th Lancs. Fus. and the 9th Northumberland Fus. in clinging mud went into the attack, but came into contact with a strong German force which was itself just about to go on the attack.  The two battalions, for various reasons were then forced to withdraw.


It was now the turn of the 12th Manchesters and the 9th Duke's to go on the attack, but it was obvious that if a night attack had failed, that of a daylight assault would similarly fail.  Heavy machine gun fire from Mametz Wood met the Manchesters and the Duke's and they were forced to withdraw, as Charlie reports, with heavy casualties.

There is a memorial to the 12th Manchesters in the Contalmaison Communal Cemetery, near the place where the 12th Manchesters were in action on the 7th July 1916.  PhilipG.

Offline Csnewton2701

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Re: Thomas John Collins - 12th Manchesters
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 03:24:24 PM »
Thank you all for your help I do really appreciate it.

I have just bought the 12th Manchesters diary and was given the 17th Northern division book as a Christmas present last year.

Is there a way to find out what Platoon and Company he belonged to or would they have been in his service records which appear to have mostly been destroyed?

Chris