The 1901 Census shows a Collier family living on The Green, West Haddon. The Head of the Household was Frederick Collier, aged 36, a Wheelwright; his wife Lydia, two sons and two daughters. The places of birth of the family members were many and various in that Frederick the father was born in North Kilworth, mother Lydia in Guilsborough, William in Stapleton in 1901, sisters Edith and Florence in Peatling Magna and the youngest son John Henry in Gilmorton.
In 1911 the family was shown as living in The Cottage, West End. William, then aged 20, was employed as a farm labourer.
Military Records show William as William F D Collier. He volunteered in January, 1916, joined the Coldstream Guards, was trained at Caterham and in June 1917 landed on the Western Front. He was engaged in heavy fighting in the Ypres salient and was severely wounded. He was invalided to Sheffield for hospital treatment and was eventually demobilised in December, 1918. He is shown as living in Stone House, West Haddon.
The Northampton Mercury dated 6th November, 1917 carried the report “Collier, Pte, William, Coldstream Guards, severely wounded and ill in hospital in Sheffield; is the eldest son of Mr & Mrs Fred Collier; West Haddon. Before joining the colours he was in the police force stationed successively at Daventry and Wellingborough.”
His younger brother John Henry Collier’s name also appears on the Roll of Honour.
(Jim Blakey 14th November, 2015)