Private John Robert Collinson

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Massachusetts.

The grave of Private John Robert Collinson

John Robert Collinson was born on 1 February 1896 in Keighley, West Yorkshire the only son and eldest of the two children of Isaac and Martha Collinson.[1] When he was eight his mother died and soon afterwards his father remarried.[2] The fate of that marriage is not known but in September 1907 Isaac Collinson emigrated alone to the United States, to Lawrence, Massachusetts. The two children lived with their maternal grandparents and then their mother’s brother in Leeds until they followed their father in November 1914; Isaac Collinson had remarried by the time of their arrival and over the next few years half-siblings were added to the family.[3] Having lived for a time in Rhode Island, the family settled in Methuen, Massachusetts. Prior to his enlistment, Collinson worked in a mill in Lawrence and he lived in Methuen with his wife, Fanny, who had also been born in Yorkshire, and their daughter.[4]

He enlisted on 23 January 1918 and joined the 249th Battalion, Canadian Infantry; he was allocated the number 1070011. The Battalion had been raised in 1917 and by the time Collinson joined it was preparing to travel to England. Continue reading

Private (Joseph) Raymond Collier

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Massachusetts.

The grave of Private Raymond Collier

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. Continue reading

Gunner John ‘Jack’ Cameron

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Massachusetts.

The grave of Gunner John ‘Jack’ Cameron

Jack Cameron was born on 25 January 1885 in Glasgow, Scotland. The commonality of his name and the paucity of details in his service record preclude a detailed examination of his family or of his arrival in the United States. By the time of his enlistment in 1918 he was working as a machinist in a factory in Auburn Massachusetts, where he lived with his wife Rose; the couple had no children.[1]

He enlisted on 14 May 1918 in Montreal and began his training at 1st Depot Battalion, 1st Quebec Regiment, where he was allocated the number 3084584. He subsequently transferred to 79th Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery on 13 May 1918.

On 8 October 1918, Private Cameron was admitted to the Grenadier Guards Emergency Hospital in Montreal suffering from influenza. He died of pneumonia on 16 October. His remains were returned to Massachusetts and he was buried in Hillside Cemetery, Auburn. His grave is marked with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone and is in Section 16 in the north-centre part of the cemetery.

The Memorial Cross, plaque and scroll were sent to his widow. He is commemorated on page 379 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance; that page is displayed on 17 August.

The Canadian Book of Remembrance showing the entry for Gunner Jack Cameron

1. (Back) John Cameron married Rose L. (surname unknown) on 31 December 1916.

Private Stanley Daniel Robinson

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Pennsylvania.

The grave of Stanley Daniel Robinson

Stanley Robinson was born in Ingersoll, Oxford County, Ontario on 22 July 1898, the sixth of the nine children, and third son, of Daniel and Annie Robinson.[1] The family was mostly born in Canada but Robinson parents and the younger members of the family came to the United States sometime after 1911; their movements over this period are difficult to trace but by 1916 his parents were living in Lowellville, Ohio.

Robinson, who was a spinner in a mill, enlisted in Woodstock, Ontario on 8 January 1916, aged 17—he gave his date of birth as 22 February 1897. He joined the newly-raised 168th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was allocated the number 675092. On 5 May he transferred to 4th Canadian Pioneer Battalion on its formation at St. Andrews, New Brunswick.[2] Continue reading

Private Ernest Thomas McVicker

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Pennsylvania.

Ernest Thomas McVicker

Born in Hanley in the Staffordshire Potteries on 4 November 1884, Ernest McVicker emigrated to the United States with his parents around 1887.[1] He grew up in Pittsburgh, where his siblings were born and where he went to work in the glass industry; he was a member of the American Flint Glass Workers Union. Continue reading

Private Cyril Henry Edward Cox & Private George Edward Dillow

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Pennsylvania.

The graves of Cyril Cox and George Dillow

This is the tragic story of two young cousins, born in England but who grew up together in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania and who died within 24 hours of each other during the influenza pandemic. Continue reading

Private John McGraw

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Ohio.

The grave of Private John McGraw

John McGraw, a married man, enlisted in the United States, probably in Chicago, for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and travelled to Toronto to join the 1st Depot Battalion, Central Ontario Regiment. Immediately upon his arrival in Toronto on 20 February 1918, prior being attested, taken on strength and allocated a regimental number, he was admitted to the Base Hospital suffering from paratyphoid bronchitis.[1] He died from heart failure on 13 March 1918, aged 37.

His body was returned to the United States and he was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland on 18 March. His grave, in Section 42, Lot 237, is in the north-west part of the cemetery near the entrance and is marked by a flat Commonwealth War Graves Commission marker. He is one of two casualties in this cemetery: See Private Sam Corrodo. Continue reading