Colin Colgrave

Submitted by Marilyn Beckly

Colin was her Grandfather


16818 Cpl Colin Colgrave East Yorks.  The brother of Joseph Colgrave DCM served in 6th (Service) Bn East Yorkshire Regt.  The Regt formed up on 21 Aug 1914 at Beverley,Yorkshire in response to Lord Kitchener's appeal for volunteers.  The Bn became part of 32nd Bde in 11th (Northern) Division, a New Army formation.  In common with all the Kitchener "Pals" Bns raised in Aug-Sep 1914 they had no structure, uniforms or weapons at the outset -just an overwhelming desire to do the right thing.  In Dec 1914 the Bn became the Pioneer Bn of the Division.

 By the spring of 1915 11th Div was judged fit to enter the ORBAT and sailed for Gallipoli on 1 July 1915 to reinforce the beleaguered beachhead on the Dardanelles.  6 East Yorks landed at Suvla Bay on 7 Aug 1915 under fire coinciding with the ANZAC assault on Chunuk Bair. 
The Bn took part in the vicious fighting on the peninsular for the following 5 months. 
Over 200,000 British and Empire casualties were suffered at Gallipoli and on 11 Dec 1915 11th (Northern) Division withdrew from the Helles Bridgehead to Egypt. 
In July 1916 the Division was sent to France and landed in Marseilles.

On 26 Sep 1916 6th East Yorks were in action on Thiepval Ridge during the 3rd phase of the Battle of the Somme.  The Bn was tasked with taking Mouquet Farm.  Colin Colgrave was a Section Commander in 16 Platoon, D Coy under command of Lt M Coultas.

The Pl was tasked with digging a communication trench from Mouquet Road along Midway towards Hessian Trench.  However they could not start work as they were under fire from enemy still in Mouquet Farm.  Lt Coultas decided to attack the farm and the Pl was involved in 4 hours fierce fighting before 1 German officer and 35 of his men surrendered.  Lt Coultas, aged 22 and from Grantham, was KIA and among the wounded was Cpl Colgrave.  He sustained a Gun Shot Wound to the thigh which fractured his femur.  He was evacuated to No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Boulogne but his wound was infected with gas-gangrene and he died at 03.00 hrs on 29 Sep 1916 aged 24 yrs.  He is buried in the Boulogne East Military Cemetery.

Awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

See below for Marilyn's collection of photos, records and other memorabilia










© Copyright 2010 - 2021 Dean Hill and Stuart Reeves