Next of kin plaque : Private Edward Ernest Robert Victor Collins, 50th Battalion, AIF

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Broodseinde, Broodseinde Ridge
Accession Number REL/10373
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Date made c 1921-1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'ERNEST EDWARD VICTOR COLLINS' [Sic].

History / Summary

Born in Uraidla, South Australia, Edward Ernest Robert Victor Collins was employed as a driver in the Adelaide suburb of Maylands when he enlisted in the AIF on 12 October 1916, aged 26. He had previously been rejected for service because of a speech impediment. After initial training he was assigned as a private, service number 3141, to the 8th Reinforcements for the 50th Battalion. He embarked from Adelaide aboard HMAT A35 Berrima, and after further training in England joined his battalion in Belgium on 7 July 1917.

Collins was killed near Broodseinde Ridge on 14 October. Buried in the Broodseinde Military Cemetery, his body could not be identified for burial in an official Commonwealth War Cemetery after the war and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.

This commemorative plaque was sent to Edward's father, Robert, in December 1922. Earlier in the year army authorities had noticed that Collins' first two given names had been reversed so that the plaque read 'Ernest Edward', and contacted his Robert Collins to confirm the error. Rather than return the plaque to England for renaming, a process that would have taken a number of years, Robert elected to accept the plaque as it was.