Distinguished Conduct Medal : Regimental Sergeant Major L Collins, 14 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number REL35081.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Award
Physical description Silver
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Distinguished Conduct Medal (Geo V). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Leslie Collins, born at Carisbrook, Victoria in 1888, was working as a labourer in Melbourne when he enlisted for service in the First World War on 17 February 1916. After initial training at Castlemaine and Broadmeadows he was assigned as a private, with the service number 5995, to G Company, 5 Battalion AIF. He sailed from Melbourne for overseas service aboard HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 July 1916. After further training in England and France Collins joined his battalion in France, only to be transferred to B Company, 14 Battalion less than two weeks later. He served with this battalion for the remainder of the war. Collins was promoted to lance corporal on 29 October 1916, to corporal on 12 December, to temporary sergeant on 12 April 1917, company sergeant major on 23 August 1917 and finally to regimental sergeant major (warrant officer 1) at the beginning of November 1917. Collins was twice recommended for immediate awards which were not approved - for the Military Medal at Zonnebeke in Belgium in September 1917, and for the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for actions at Vaire and Corbie in July 1918. His final recommendation for the award of a DCM was approved in September 1918 and covered actions between February and September. The recommendation reads: 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the period February 20th. 1918 to Sept. 1918. During the period under review this W.O. has rendered most conspicuous service on every occasion that the Battalion has come into action, and owing to his administrative ability and cool bravery under fire the supply of ammunition forward has never failed. Both during an advance and on our objective he has continually traversed the Battalion front, supervising and arranging supplies to the companies with complete disregard for his personal safety. During the HAMEL offensive his energy and courage were especially noticeable and on all other occasions he has set a splendid example and rendered signal service. His work has previously been brought to notice for immediate award.' Collins returned to Australia on 2 June 1919. He died in 1956.