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2nd Lieut Joseph Henry Collin 4th King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regt)

7 Jun

There was one officer in the 4th King’s Own, named 2nd Lieut. Joseph Henry Collin who through an act of outright bravery won a Victoria Cross at Orchard Keep in Givenchy June 1918.
After offering a long and gallant resistance against heavy odds in the Keep held by his platoon, this brave officer with only five of his men remaining they slowly withdrew in the face of overwhelming numbers of German infantry. The enemy were pressing him hard with bombs and machine-gun fire from close range as he contested every inch of the ground. Single- handed 2nd Lieut. Collin attacked the enemy machine gun and team. After firing his revolver into the enemy, he seized a mills grenade and threw it into the hostile team, putting the gun out of action killing four of the team and wounding two others.
Observing a second hostile machine gun firing, he took a Lewis gun and selecting a high point of advantage on a parapet. 2nd Lieut. Collin unaided engaged the enemy gun with fire keeping them at bay until he fell mortally wounded.
The heroic self- sacrifice of 2nd Lieut. Collin was a magnificent example to all. For his most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty and self-sacrifice he was awarded posthumously the Victoria Cross.
As you the reader can see 2nd Lieut. Joseph Henry Collin was a very brave man indeed

All sixteen members of the party led by 2nd Lieut. Collin were killed barring one man Lance/Cpl J Pollitt, who was badly wounded and taken prisoner. Although J Pollitt badly wounded as he was, he killed his escort and fought his way back to British lines. Lance/Cpl Pollitt was unlucky that he did not receive any official recognition for his valuable service on this and other occasions. It is interesting to note at Givenchy, Lance/Cpl Pollitt was involved in both the actions that men of the 4th King’s Own regiment won the Victoria Cross. Lance/Cpl Pollitt survived the war which in itself was a bonus in life.


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