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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: William Francis Charles Last Name: COLLINS
Date of Death: 24/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Waterloo
Rank: Rifleman Unit: London12
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


7, Dauncey Buildings, Webber Row, Waterloo Road


Battle of St Julien, 24 April – 4 May 1915

Spurred on by the success of their gas attack on 22nd April, the Germans struck again two days later on the northern sector of the Ypres salient at St. Julien.  Once more chlorine gas was used and despite a resolute defence the British and Canadians were pushed back and St Julien was lost. For nearly two weeks the fighting continued on this front. The Germans persisted with their attacks, the British fought desperate rear guard actions and launched many counter attacks but gradually they were pushed further and further back. Eventually, during the night of 3rd & 4th May the British forces were withdrawn from their forward positions and took up a new defensive line closer to Ypres.

On the morning of 24th April the reserves of 28th Division, the1st Suffolk and 12th London battalions, both 84 Brigade, were sent to the village of Fortuin near St. Julien, where the immediate danger was perceived to be. They moved up from Frezenberg and Verlorenhoek under German shell fire and at 6pm both battalions dug in on a line just in front of the Gravenstaffel-Fortuin road in front of St. Julien. There they stayed, coming under constant and at times heavy fire from both artillery and snipers and expecting to be attacked at any moment. By the time that 12th London were relieved two days later during the night of 26th/ 27th April, their casualty list had increased significantly and included William Collins who was killed on 24th April.

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