Search our records : William Frederick Collier

Surname: Collier
Forename(s): William Frederick
Service Number: 3174
Force: British Army
Unit: Devonshire Regiment
Civilian Occupation: Grocer’s errand boy
Parents: William and Mary Collier
Home address: Seaside, Beer, Devon

William Frederick Collier was born in Beer in 1896, one of the five children of William Collier, a baker, and his wife Mary.  The family lived in Fore Street at the time of the 1901 census, and in the 1911 census William gave his occupation as grocer’s errand boy.

His medal index card at the National Archives shows that he went on active service overseas at some point from 1916 onwards as a private in the 1/4th Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment, and his entry in the 1919 Absent Voters’ List shows that he later became a lance corporal. The same entry gave his home address as Seaside, Beer (the same address as his brother, Cecil Harry Collier).

William’s battalion landed at Basra in what was then Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in March 1916, and remained in that country for the rest of the war, defending the oilfields against attack by the Turks.