COLLIS, Hugh Humphrey

Second Lieutenant, Hugh Humphrey COLLIS
Aged 25

5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Thursday, 12th April 1917

Hugh Humphrey COLLIS was born in 1891 in Bury St.Edmunds (Bury St. Edmunds Q4-1891 4A:741), baptised in Bury St. Edmunds St.James on 9th November 1891, son of Henry Palmer and Gertrude Ann COLLIS (née SMITH).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at 20 Abbeygate Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his father Henry Palmer COLLIS [34] a jeweller born in Bury St.Edmunds and his mother Gertrude Ann [34] born in Carleton Rode, Norfolk.

1911 census...Aged 19, a jeweller, he was at 63 Willowfield Road, Eastbourne, lodging with John and Jessie GILLET. His parents were still at 20 Abbeygate Street, Bury St. Edmunds. There had been another child, who had died.

He married Florence Drucilla STRONG in Eastbourne in Q4-1915, later of "Rosslyn", Pevensey Bay, Sussex. At the time of his death their address was Abbeygate Street, Bury St.Edmunds, but his widow moved to Hampden Park, Eastbourne.

At some time he was a pupil at Norwich High School, and is mentioned in the school magazine of Easter Term 1916 (his commissioning and marriage) and Autumn term 1917 (death recorded) from where this photograph originates
The 1917 Summer issue of that school magazine carried the following:-
"2nd LIEUT. HUGH HUMPHREY COLLIS, of the 7th Suffolk Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs.H.P.Collis of Bury St. Edmunds, died of wounds in France on April 12th. Many of the boarders in our early days at St. Giles' House will remember Hugh as a very popular boy among them. He was only recently married, which makes it all the more sad for those around him."

He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant on 25th December 1915. He died at No.8 Casualty Clearing Station, which on 12 April 1917 was at Agnez-les-Duisans. He most certainly was not serving with the 5th Battalion as they were in Egypt and Palestine. "The History of the Suffolk Regiment" by Lt Col.Murphy however does record that 2nd Lieut.H.H.Collis was wounded during the battle of the Scarpe and on 12th April, died of his wounds. The same page shows that he was with the 7th Battalion. The school records also place him with the 7th battalion.
The war diary refers to an attached report on the operations at the time, but that has not yet been found.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Hugh COLLIS is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun grave 3:G:40
and commemorated on the Pevensey Roll of Honour and that of Norwich High School.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details