Alfred Collins was the son of John and Emily Collins of 12 Hopyard Lane, Sedgley. He volunteered, possibly at 17, for the South Staffords and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion. After home training they were sent to the Western Front in July 1915 as part of the 17th Division. They were posted to the Ypres sector which, though regarded as quiet by this time, was still a dangerous area. An attempted attack at Hooge was unsuccessful and the Staffords suffered serious casualties in a German attack in February 1916. They moved to the Somme and were in the front line for the first day of the great battle on the 1st July. They were one of the few units to make a successful advance when Fricourt was attacked and captured. German counter-attacks failed but the Staffords had casualties on the 2nd July, and among them was Private Alfred Collins. He was 18 years of age and is now buried in Gordon Dump Cemetery (Special Memorial C2) near Ovillers and commemorated on the Sedgley Memorial. His brother William was killed in action in 1918.
Vicar Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY3 3SD
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