Topic: Collings, Frank Edwin

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action.

                                                                    CWGC Cemetery locale history: Messines (now Mesen) was considered a strong strategic position, not only from its height above the plain below, but from the extensive system of cellars under the convent known as the 'Institution Royale'. The village was taken from the 1st Cavalry Division by the German 26th Division on 31 October-1 November 1914. An attack by French troops on 6 -7 November was unsuccessful and it was not until the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 that it was retaken by the New Zealand Division. On 10-11 April 1918, the village fell into German hands once more after a stubborn defence by the South African Brigade, but was retaken for the last time on 28-29 September 1918. The MESSINES RIDGE (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL stands within Messines Ridge British Cemetery and commemorates over 800 soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who died in or near Messines in 1917 and 1918 and who have no known grave. This is one of seven memorials in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died. MESSINES RIDGE BRITISH CEMETERY, in which this memorial stands, occupies ground that belonged to the 'Institution Royale'. It was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefield around Messines and from a number of small burial grounds in the area. The dates of death of those buried here range from October 1914 to October 1918, but the majority died in the fighting of 1917. There are now 1,531 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 954 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known or believed to be buried among them, or who were buried in other cemeteries where their graves were destroyed by shell fire. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Charles Holden.

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Collings, Frank Edwin

First Names:Frank Edwin
Last Name:Collings
Date of Birth:1878
Date of Death:14 June 1917
Place of Death:Messines
Memorial or Cemetery:Messines Ridge Memorial to the Missing.
Age at death:39
User Name:Selwyn Library
Occupation before enlisting:Labourer
Nominal Roll:38/13
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of John and Mary Collings,
Service Number:21656
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:21 August 1916
Place of Embarkation:Lyttelton
Cause of Death:Killed in action
Other biographical information:NOK given as Brother of Herbert Giles Collings, of Hornby, Christchurch.