The soldier who just refused to give up

The soldier who just refused to give up: Awe-inspiring spirit of WWI hero who lost two brothers in action, and a sister in a Zeppelin raid but survived being left for dead in a heap of bodies at Passchendale.article-2516471-19C2C80C00000578-510_636x382A soldier who survived the Somme and fought at Ypres was left for dead after being shot in the stomach at Passchendale, his son has revealed. The body of Robert Collie was then thrown onto a heap of corpses while he was still alive and he was only saved after a passing India medic saw him twitching. He survived his wounds and returned to the fighting, serving in India after World War I finished, and rose through the ranks from Private to Major.

Sadly Robert Collie lost both of his brothers after they were wounded in action during the war, and his sister who was killed by a Zeppelin during a bombing raid in London. The story of the Scottish soldier who refused to die has only now come to light after his son, also called Robert, decided to sell his 13 medals. Robert, 75, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: ‘My father was a tough Scotsman and not a lot phased him.article-2516471-19C163B000000578-540_634x303Major Collie earned 13 medals during his service. From left to right, they are: MBE, 1914 Star, 1914-18 War medal, Victory medal, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, World War II War medal, 1939-45 India medal, 1935 and 1937 Commemorative medals,George IV and Queen Elizabeth Coronation medal, George V Long Service medal, George V Meritorious Service medal. Major Collie served in two World Wars and served with distinction.

Robert, a semi-retired accountant, added: ‘My father met and married my mother, Kathleen, while she worked as a children’s nurse in Calcutta in 1937 and I was born a year later. ‘I inherited the medals from him. My two children don’t really want them and I thought I would look to give them a good home now.  The soldier who just refused to give up: Awe-inspiring spirit of WWI hero who lost two brothers in action and a sister in a Zeppelin raid but SURVIVED being left for dead in a heap of bodies at Passchendale… 

UNBELIEVABLE ! “My two children don’t really want them and I thought I would look to give them a good home now?”  Robert Collie (Jr) PIN YOUR EARS BACK & LISTEN IN! Your children, the Grandchildren of a brave man, should hang their heads in shame, they are not fit to carry his name, nor do they warrant any association with him. If it is not about money, then donate the medals to your fathers Regimental Museum, where future generations who do care about past sacrifice, can read about your Fathers heroic exploits.

I am utterly disgusted by the thought; that a man who is prepared to give his all for his country, can have his memory tossed to one side by his own family.             Yours Aye.

13 thoughts on “The soldier who just refused to give up”

  1. I don’t know exBootneck but this might be a generational shift. I wrote a lengthy reply, decided it was too long and I’ll rewrite it elsewhere. We have lots of medals in my family but just 3 months ago I almost abandoned all of mine in San Diego because I don’t wear them and never expect to again and I doubt my daughter will have any interest in them when she grows up. I expect whatever cachet they might still enjoy will be greatly diminished when the powers that be strike the Obama medallion and issue it to every soldier in the land with precedence above the Drone Medal.

    1. Curtis, I just wonder about the ‘children’ mentioned, who, one would presume could be around 50-years-old given that their father is 75-years old.
      Even if the children were ‘green loving-sandal sock wearing-meat is murder-save the planet-say no to war-pacifists.’ They are still the flesh and blood from a generation who gave their all, allowing generations such as theirs to make such a choice… One would hope that the Grandchildren of Robert Collie, would at least have the heart and decency to remember him, simply by retaining his medals for their future generation; as his life blood runs through their veins.

      Every year on Remembrance Day, the old and bold, as well as serving Armed Forces personnel, turn out with generations of their own family and stand around each village, town, or city memorial, to pay their respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice from the Great War to modern conflicts.
      The old and bold will wear their old service beret, with medals gleaming on their chest, and in most cases wearing the medals of their forefathers on their right chest (as tradition demands). Their uniform being a black blazer with a regimental/corps blazer badge, white shirt, reg/corps tie, and dark grey trousers, with shoes black, ‘polished for the use of’…

      (The ‘chav’ scum of the UK are exempt from such, as they are the direct product of generations of families whose lives evolve around the social benefit system. They are allowed to lay in their own mess until 15:00 hrs daily, having played ‘Call of Duty’ until the wee hours with their mates. The Islamic extremists are also exempt, they can rant and chant as they wish, no one gives a damn about them!)

      We are a small country, where tradition is still the mainstay and backbone of society, from small villages to large cities (chav’s & extremists exempt) I for one cherish it, and I will fight for it’s values, promotion and continuance.

      I know you are cut of the same cloth as I follow your blog daily, I too was going to delete my reply, as it rolled and rambled like a tramp steamer in a winter North sea. I kept it so in the hope that even if only one miserable chav happened along here, he may read as far as this and allow his conscience to be pricked.
      (It goes without saying. that I have no care for any Islamic extremist doing the same!)

      Yours Aye.

  2. Hear, hear….it’s why I wander on through here every day, Ex Bootneck….you send a shiver up my back…and I do appreciate and admire your steadfast loyalty to such things as traditions and values, you and yours represent…only my time in the US military has allowed to me to envision, see and stand up for something I believe in as well….again hear, hear….I know they exist here in the US as well no matter what our media and political class are trying to invoke…..k

    1. Kristen, it is my fervent belief that those within the military, past & present, are every nations backbone. As are those within the emergency services who lay their lives on the line daily.


  3. Pathetic, but not that unusual… I had a friend (late 80’s) who had asked me in his will to donate his military stuff to the museum when he passed. I saw his obit, called the daughter (mid-50’s) to come by and pick up the material (included his medals, pay books, uniforms and some other memorabilia). She told me she’d already thrown it out!!! Didn’t care about what the will said, didn’t care about “that old military crap he went on and on about” I told her she didn’t deserve her father if she did something that petty… and hung up…

    1. I don’t know if this might cheer you maybe a little, Old NFO…or at least let you know there was someone who cared and did what they thought was right …at the time…I retired from the Navy some years ago…I had an uncle who passed away even longer ago than I’m willing to admit…my Uncle Harry retired as a Navy Captain half a dozen years after the end of WWII …he was a tough old bird with an attitude and a mouth no one I can imagine anyone in the military would have today or admit to…he always made me laugh though…in any event, when my Aunt Judy my mother’s sister and his wife passed away both my mother and I had to meet in Charleston, SC at their home to go through their collective belongings…as you can imagine we both had a difficult time of it…my task at the time was to collect all of my uncle’s belongings of his time in the Navy and take them to my home in St. Mary’s, GA…and he had an entire room dedicated to his twenty odd years in the Navy…(I’m not sure how long he was in the Navy; but it had to have been at least that, as we know)…he was unimaginably angry he never got picked up for Admiral…in any event, my uncle’s last job was working at the Charleston Sub Base..his ‘Me’ room was extensive….he was CO of a tanker up in the Aleutians during WWII …he had navigation charts all bound up in volumes…obviously of that part of the ocean…all sorts of memorabilia …cards of Japanese aircraft of the times…you name it…his personal accomplishments beyond measure…I told my mother I’d take all of it and decide what I would do with it when the time came…and what I decided to do with it was to donate it to the CSG 10 Memorabilia Museum at Kings Bay, GA….when I left Georgia to return to Connecticut, I realized I couldn’t throw any of it away and I knew there was a group who would cherish and protect my uncle’s possessions with the reverence they deserved….and when I left the area many of his possessions were in display cases at the Headquarters building….I knew that was where they belonged and I knew my Uncle Harry would approve….k

      1. Heh, that means I’ve probably SEEN some of his memorabilia. I’ve been in that building a few times over the years… And thank you for doing that!

  4. I have wondered what will become of my Navy stuff when I am gone. It means nothing to anyone but me. Judy might keep it, but my daughter or grandkids, not so much.

    1. Coffeypot, when I was asked what my medals were for I explained it thus…

      “Each one has my name, rank, and number stamped into the rim of the medal. Each one holds a thousand memories mixed with tears of misery, and happiness, each one was earned, not given for free. Each one has part of my blood, sweat, and tears attached to it, and on the day of the parade there were some who had earned them, who were unable to be presented with them, as they are no longer with us”.

      I have also wrote several paragraphs associated with each medal, and mentioned others by name with as much detailed history as I can remember. I used parchment paper and scribed with recorders ink, so when the memory fails, I know the black recorders ‘indian ink’ will not. In addition to this I have also placed the same to a memory stick, and those near and dear to me may take a copy when the time comes.

      I know this, my nearest will ensure that my seven medals are never forgotten. And if the time comes when they are required to be sold due to fallen hard times (Gawd forbid) then they may do so; my only hope is that the small piece of covenant that will accompany them will add to their value.

      My steel foot locker will prove to be a pandoras box, with each item scribed upon in the same way.


  5. My thoughts exactly, Ex-Bootneck. My wife and I are currently in a search for her father’s World War II medals and burial flag. When her parents died, those kinds of things seem to have gone to the four winds. How can you not cherish something like that?

    1. DaddyBear, I truly hope you are successful in your endeavour.

      Hopefully the use of the w.w.w. will assist greatly, as there are some great organisations out there, who act out of respect in such repatriations.

      Good luck to you both… Aye.

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