Date of birth: 1920
Date of death: 12.07.1943
Regiment: York and Lancaster
Family information: Husband of Irene Collins nee Williamson
Service number: 4754677
Private Joseph Collins was in the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment when he died on 12th July 1943 aged 23. He is buried in the Syracuse War Cemetery, Sicily, in a common grave Plot 4 Row F Grave 10.
On 10th July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the north African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17th August when the two allied forces came together at Messina but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines.
Commonwealth forces made their landings in the south-east corner of the island between Pachino and Syracuse and the majority of those buried in Syracuse War Cemetery died during those landings or in the early stages of the campaign. Many graves belong to men of the airborne force that attempted landings west of the town on the night of 9-10 July, when gale force winds forced 60 of the 140 gliders into the sea and blew others wide of their objectives.
Joseph Collins was born in the first quarter of 1920 and his birth was registered at Sheffield. He was the son of Joseph and Minnie (nee Fenwick) who married at Sheffield in the first quarter of 1918.
Joseph Collins married Irene Williamson of Knottingley in the second quarter of 1941 and this was also registered at Sheffield.