William Hanna Collins


Sep 8, 1882

Born at Castle Douglas Scotland


Jan 17, 1916

Attested into the 168th Battalion at Ingersoll Ontario 

Ø      Number 675268

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Wilhelmina Hannah Collins (wife) of Ingersoll Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Machinist

Ø      Previous military service given as the Oxford Rifles Pipe Band

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian 

At the time of Attestation, he was a member of the Ingersoll Pipe Band


Jul 5, 1916

Promoted to rank of Corporal


Oct 9, 1916

He declared that he had 2 dependent daughters, Janet Logan and Isabella Louise Collins, aged 2 years and 10 months respectively


Oct 13, 1916

Reduced to rank of Private


Oct 30, 1916

Embarked the SS Lapland at Halifax Nova Scotia


Rank on Embarkation shown as Corporal


Nov 11, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe Kent 

Appointed to rank of Acting Corporal


Dec 5, 1916

The 168th Battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling


Jan 4, 1917

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling


Feb 22, 1917

Reverts to rank of Pte at his own request


Apr 22, 1917

Embarked at Folkestone for a crossing of the English Channel and disembarked at Havre France and proceeded to the CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot). 

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion. 


May 21, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The Battalion was in the support trenches near Vimy Ridge.  He was part of a draft of 149 reinforcements that was sent to bolster the ranks after the losses incurred taking the ridge a month earlier 

Because of his previous experience as a Piper, he was assigned to the 21st Battalion Pipe Band.  During the times when the Battalion was in action, he would have served as a Stretcher Bearer, carrying the wounded in from the battlefield.  This was most often done under enemy fire


Jan 16, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Jan 17, 1918

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge for 2 years of Good Service


Jan 30, 1918

He failed to return from leave on this date and was declared to be AWL (Absent Without Leave)


Feb 7, 1918

Rejoined the Battalion from being AWL 

There is no record of punishment in the file which would indicate that he supplied a valid reason for overstaying his leave


Dec 13, 1918

The Battalion crossed the Bonn Bridge and entered Germany as part of the Allied occupying force.  As part of the Pipe Band, he was at the head of the Parade and played while the Battalion Marched Past


Dec 30, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Jan 25, 1919

Rejoined Battalion from leave


Apr 3, 1919

Embarked the Western Australia at Havre


Disembarked in England and proceeded to the Witley Camp


Apr 4, 1919

TOS “P” Wing at Witley pending return to Canada


May 14, 1919

Embarked the SS Caronia at Liverpool with the balance of the 21st Battalion



May 22, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded by train to Kingston Ontario


May 24, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      War Service Badge Class “A” issued number 277372

Ø      Rank on discharge Private

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge PO Box 63 Ingersoll Ontario


Feb 13, 1922

British War Medal and Victory Medals sent to him at PO Box 63 Ingersoll Ontario


Nov 23, 1947        Died at Ingersoll Ontario 

Below is a transcript of the obituary that appeared in the Ingersoll Tribune on November 27, 1947 

W. H. COLLINS PASSED AWAY ON SUNDAY Death removed a highly esteemed resident of Ingersoll in the person of William Hannah Collins, who passed away Sunday following a heart attack. Born at Castle Douglas, Scotland, Mr. Collins, who was in his 66th year, came to Canada in 1910 and was for a number of years employed at the Noxon Farm Implement Factory, being one of the original members of Noxon's Pipe Band, which later became the Ingersoll Pipe Band. He was also employed at the Mitchell Hearse Company and as caretaker of the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery. During recent years he had been at Baxter's Greenhouse. Mr. Collins was a member of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, and of Ingersoll Branch 119, Canadian Legion, having served overseas during World War I, with the 168th Battalion. His quiet, unassuming and kindly nature had won for him a very large circle of friends and his untimely passing is deeply regretted. Left to mourn the passing of a dearly beloved father, are his widow, [formerly Minnie Davidson], three daughters, Mrs. Kenneth Williams [Janet], and Mrs. Lloyd Nancekivell [Bessie], both of Ingersoll, and Mrs. Kenneth Omerod [Isabella], of Dundas; four sons, James, David, William and Colin, all of Ingersoll. Also surviving are two sisters, Mrs. George Hutchison and Mrs. Guy Goodhand, and one brother, Alexander Collins, all of Ingersoll, to whom the sympathy of their scores of friends is extended. The funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon from the Preston T. Walker Funeral Home, where service was conducted at two o'clock, by Rev. George W. Murdoch minister of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church. There was a very large attendance at the service, members of the Canadian Legion and the Ingersoll Pipe Band were also present, which with the profusion of beautiful floral offerings, born tribute to the high esteem in which Mr. Collins was held and sympathy for the sorrowing family. Interment was made in the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery, the pallbearers being: John Little, William Pearson, Joseph Balfour, Robert Johnston, members of the Pipe Band; Daniel Goodall, St. Thomas; and Ehon Goodall, London, both former members. Flower bearers were Fred Funnell, C. K. Hoag, John McCarter, and Fred Bichner, all Legion members; also J. M. Wilson and Sandy Lambert.


Above William is shown as a member of the Ingersoll Pipe Band after the War.  Below is a photo that appeared in the Ingersoll Times December 6, 1989.  He is pointed out in the back row.  Also pointed out is Pte James Candlish in the front row, who also served with the 21st Battalion Pipe Band

I would like to thank Ken Goguen who sent along the photos of his great grandfather and the photo from the Ingersoll Times, and allowing us to publish them here.

Thanks to John Sergeant for the obituary transcript and for the photo of the Ingersoll War Memorial below.  It appears that William Collins' name was added after the Memorial was created as he is not in alphabetical order (5th name down in the last section on right)


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