Sydney Herbert COLLIS
Rank: Private
Number: 4064
Unit: A Company, 10th Battalion LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 5 September 1915
Age: 25
Cemetery: Ridge Wood Military Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

It is rare that the exact manner of a Great War soldier's death can be identified but it is known with absolute certainty what happened to Sydney Collis.

On the day he was killed, Sydney was billeted just to the south west of the Belgian town over Ypres (now Ieper), near the wood on a ridge which gives the name to the Cemetery where he is buried. The Regimental History records the day "An unfortunate incident which befell "A" Company on 5th September created something of a sensation at the time. A party of another Regiment marching along the skyline drew the enemy's artillery fire onto a barn where two platoons were quartered with the result that fourteen men were killed, six mortally wounded and twenty seven wounded by a single shell which fell among them.". Sydney was one of the 14 killed outright.

Sydney was the son of Sarah Collis and had been born in Denton. In 1913, he had married May Ellen Allman at All Saints Church, Heaton Norris and the couple lived at 25 Rowland Street. They had no children. Sydney worked as a stoker at Denton gasworks. His army service number is an early one and he will have enlisted within a few weeks of War being declared on 4 August 1914.

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