The AIF Project

Clarence Timbrell COLLIER

Place of birthGeurie, New South Wales
SchoolFort Street High, Sydney, New South Wales
Other trainingSydney University, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address'Alverstone', Boundary Road, Roseville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 7"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinFather, T T Collier, 'Alverstone', Boundary Road, Roseville, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in New Guinea Expeditionary Force.
Enlistment date26 August 1915
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name18th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 January 1916
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll53rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Noted COLLIER Clarence Tunbrell NR
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 6), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas Timbrell and Sarah Jane COLLIER, Percy Street, Wellington. Native of Geurie, New South Wales
Other details

War service: New Guinea, Egypt, Western Front.

Embarked Sydney, 19 August 1914, for 6 months' service in New Guinea.

Applied for a Commission in AIF, 28 October 1915.

Appointed 18th Bn, 8th Reinforcement, 1 December 1916, with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Embarked Sydney, 20 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 26 February 1916.

Transferred to 14th Infantry Brigade, Tel el Kebir, 2 May 1916, and taken on strength of 53rd Bn.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 July 1916.

Placed on Seconded List, 20 July 1916.

Now reported, 17 October 1916, wounded and missing 20 July 1916.

On 31 March 1917 Corporal J. T. JAMES, 3550, C Company, 53rd Bn, made a statement that also appears in the Red Cross file (see below), followed by a subsequent witness statement on 22 May 1917 that asserted, 'on the night of 19th July 1916 I was wounded and was crawling back to our lines across No Man's Land when I saw 2/Lt C. E. [sic] Collier lying in a shell hole. He told me he had been hit in the arm. Beyond this I know nothing of him.'

Court of Enquiry, 2 September 1917, determined fate as killed in action, 20 July 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Red Cross File No 770404 has statement from 2907 Pte H. SEEMOR, 53rd Bn (patient, 4th Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 12 February 1917: 'At Fleurbaix on 19th July Informant and [Lt C.T.] Collier were together in a charge at about 40 yards distance from our parapet. There was a muddy creek, waist deep in slush and Collier and Informant were lying side by side alongside this creek until a further advance was ordered. After going a few yards Collier was shot and fell. Informant saw him fall, and two days later passed the spot again and noticed that Collier's body was still there. Death must have been instantaneous.'

Second informant, 2811 Pte A.O. CRASSINGHAM, D Company, 53rd Bn (patient, 4th Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 20 February 1917: 'I saw him wounded in the foot on the evening of 19/7/16 between our support and the front line trenches, and heard him tell the Sergeant to "carry on". I do not know what subsequently became of him. I passed on when he fell. Unless he moved from the position, where I last saw him, he could not be a prisoner ... The bombardment was terrific, and it was easily possible for him to be blown to bits after he was wounded.'

Third statement, 3550 Corporal J.T. JAMES, C Company, 53rd Bn (Hospital Ship 'Warilda'), 31 March 1917: 'He was in C Co. at Fleurbaix on the 19th July at 6 p.m. we were attacking. We took three lines. We were put out next morning at daylight and retired to our own line which we held. I was wounded in the German 2nd line and was making my way to the Dressing Station. Between our first line and the German 1st line I saw Lieut. Collier in a shell hole. He was wounded in the right arm. I bandaged it as best I could, and asked him to come along with me. He said "I can't"; at the same time he told me that he had no other wounds. I could not help him as I was wounded in the leg, and all I could do to get along myself. I was told later that our stretcher bearers could not get over the ground before our retirement, and no wounded were brought in.'

Fourth statement, 6373 Corporal A.J. GRAHAM, AMC Details, attached to 53rd Bn, 13 April 1917: 'He was wounded at Fromelles on 19th. July and was brought down to the D[ressing]. S[tation]. where I dressed his wounds. They were light and in the arm. He left the D.S. to go to the collecting station. He belonged to C. Co. I knew him quite well. He came from N.S.W. He joined us at Ferry Post, Egypt.'

Several other conflicting reports, saying that he had sprained his ankle at Fleurbaix, and had been seen since July.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, COLLIER Clarence Timbrell
Red Cross File No 770404

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