COLLIER, Harry Ronald MC (1892-1918) +

Modified on Fri, 12 Aug 2016 08:43 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of War - World War I

COLLIER, Harry Ronald MC (1892-1918)

Harry Collier, Dux of Middle IV Form, 1905.

Harry Collier,
Dux of Middle IV Form, 1905.

Born on 11 January 1892, the son of Alfred and Maud Davidson 'Mattie' nee Pratt, of Nicholson Street, Healesville, he entered the Geelong College as a day student in 1904. His address at enrolment was the Commercial Bank, Geelong. While at the College, he was both a successful scholar and a good sportsman, being in both the 1st Cricket XI from 1906-09, and the 1st Football XVIII from 1908-09. On one occasion in 1909 he took 7 wickets for 35 against Geelong Grammar School, and in another match against Scotch College in 1908 he took match figures of 14 wickets for 89 runs.

At Geelong College he is recorded with following academic awards:
1905, Dux, Middle 4th Form.
1905, 2nd, Geography, Middle 4th Form.
1905, 2nd, Arithmetic, Middle 4th Form.
1905, 2nd, Algebra, Middle 4th Form.
1905, 1st, Geometry, Middle 4th Form.
1905, 2nd, Latin, Lower 4th Form.
1906, 2nd, Geometry, Upper 4th Form.
1906, 1st, Writing, Upper 4th Form.
1907, 2nd, Arithmetic, 5th Form B.
1907, 2nd Algebra, 5th Form B.
1907, 2nd, Geometry, 5th Form B.

He left Geelong College in 1910 to join the chemical staff of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR), then spent three years at the Yarraville works, and a further two years at Goondi, North Queensland, where he was given charge of some important experiments in connection with sugar cane parasites.

Harry Collier, 1916.

Harry Collier, 1916.

On the outbreak of war he decided to go to England to enlist as a Private in one of the British regiments as he had been rejected on medical grounds for service in the AIF, so sailed for London at his own expense in early 1915. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB). The KOSB were the local infantry regiment for the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and Lanarkshire, and recruited from Berwick in the east to Stranraer in the west, from Gretna in the south to Baillieston in the north. After a year's training he crossed to France. There he was in action several times, being on one occasion wounded by shrapnel. He was rapidly promoted Lieutenant and Captain, and awarded the Military Cross, gazetted 5th July 1918, for which the citation read: ‘During an attack he collected about fifty men of various units, under a heavy barrage, and at once counter-attacked the enemy, driving them back 600 yards. This enterprise checked their advance, and enabled the battalion to be organised for a counter-attack.'

Harry Collier was killed in action at the Battle of The Lys on 17 April during the great German spring offensive of 1918, and buried at Meteren Military Cemetery, Nord, France, Grave IV.J.827.’

Sources: Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. pp20-21 (citing Pegasus May 1918 p40; Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Annual Report 1905).