This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Massachusetts.
Raymond Collier was one of several men who served for only a few weeks before dying while undergoing training. A French Canadian immigrant to the United States, he enlisted on 4 May 1918 in St. Jean, New Brunswick and joined the 1st Depot Battalion, New Brunswick Regiment, where he was allocated the number 3259323. After only three-and-a-half weeks he was admitted to St. John Military Hospital on 29 May suffering from pneumonia and very severe bronchitis; after a few days’ treatment he rallied but then relapsed and died at 3.00 pm on 8 June, aged 22.
Raymond Collier was born on 5 November 1895 at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia into a large French Canadian family. His father was a French immigrant to Canada and his mother was Canadian born. His father died in 1909 and in 1914 the family emigrated to the United States, settling in Lynn, Massachusetts. Raymond was a cotton spinner by trade but worked as a labourer in Lynn until he enlisted. After his death his body was returned to his family and he was buried in Saint Jean de Baptiste Cemetery, Lynn. The cemetery is on the eastern side of the road (opposite is St. Joseph Cemetery; see Sapper John J Nestor) and Collier’s grave is in the far south-east corner, on the right of the main walk.
Private Raymond Collier is commemorated on page 387 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance; that page is displayed on 22 August. The memorial plaque and scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother.
1. (Back) John Leon Collier (Jean Leon Kohlier) (10 January 1843-27 November 1909) married his second wife Elizabeth Saulnier (6 April 1857-24 September 1949) in 1888 in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. The couple had at least 10 children but confirmation of their details is difficult due to the variations in spelling of their surname. Both parents had children by their previous marriages.