Rank: Private
Number: 2030
Unit: 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 5 June 1915
Age: 21
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

When Harriett Wilkinson married William Collard, in the mid 1880s, it was her second marriage. She already had one son, Herbert, but by the time of the 1901 Census, she and her new husband had three more - Jessie, Ernest and Amy. The family was then living at 2 John Street in the Blackley area of Manchester. Ernest's birth had been registered at Chorlton on Medlock. 

Some time over the next 7 or 8 years, they moved to Reddish, living at 7 Tindall Street. Ernest attended North Reddish Council School and was a member of its Old Scholars Association. Unlike many of his comrades in the Battalion, Ernest did not come from a comfortable middle class background. William had worked a packer at a cotton goods warehouse and Ernest became a fitter at the local Vauxhall Works of machine tool manufacturers, Craven Brothers.

In his spare time, Ernest had joined the Territorial Force and was mobilised with the Battalion when War was declared in August 1914. His service number suggests he had not been a member for long. As with most of his mates, he volunteered for overseas service and you can read something of the Battalion's early months by clicking here. The troops spent several months in Egypt before going into action at Gallipoli in early May. Within a month, Ernest had been killed during this attack. He was posted as being "missing" but nothing was ever heard of him again and, in June 1916, the War Office made the official declaration that he was presumed to have died in the battle.

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