There is a lot in the life of Arthur Edward Collings that I am unable to explain. I can find him in 1881 census, but cannot find his parents in 1871 census. In 1881 his mother is down as widowed, but he claims his father is alive when he enlists in 1915. I cannot find an Arthur Christopher Collings death. I cannot find the family in the censuses after 1881.
His claims to Boer War Service are not verifiable, nor the German New Guinea Expedition.
His wife dies in Dec 1918 and he remarries within 3 weeks. There seem to be problems with the death of his first wife, and he seems to have flirted with bankruptcy in 1920. Little is written about his ADRIC service. And nothing concrete appears post war. Enigmatic!
1875. Born Marylebone, Middlesex, London, England. Son of Arthur Christopher Collings
1881 census at 46 East Street, Marylebone, London
He claimed on his service enlistment that he had previously served with Robert's Horse in the Mashonaland Campaign of 1896 and the Boer War of 1901-02, and most unusually with the German New Guinea Expedition. I cannot find him in any South African War lists, and as far as I can ascertain Robert's Horse only came into existence in 1899. There were A Collings in Johannesburg Mounted Rifles and in Orpen's Horse
There were various German expeditions exploring the German part of New Guinea, and he does not specify which.
1911 Jan 20 Arthur Collings Arrives Sydney Australia on SS Rangatira
1915 Arrives in Australia on a visit he claims.
1916 Jan 4. Enlisted at Marrickville, New South Wales with the 34th Battalion AIF and was an original member. His profession was "farmer". He was a 39 year old Farmer from Glebe Avenue, Glebe, N.S.W. upon enlistment. His father, Christopher Arthur Collings, lived at Earl's Court Square, London, England. He was not married at this time. Service record available . Later correspondence shows that he had only been in Australia 2 months and was merely visiting.
1916 Jan 15 Promoted Acting Sergeant
1916 May 2. Left Sydney on board HMAT "Marathon". He was initially allocated to the 5th Reinforcements for the 5th Field Artillery Brigade as a Gunner.
1916 May 2. Transferred to 9th Infantry Brigade Headquarters,
1916 Jul 9. Arrives in Devonport.
1916 Aug 12. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 34th Infantry Battalion, AIF
1916 Nov 21. Lands in France
1916 Dec 4. Transferred from 34 Battalion to 35 Battalion
1917 Feb 11. Promoted Lt
1917 Jul/Sep Married in Sevenoaks, Kent to Kathleen Mary Fitch.
1917 Sep 7. Admitted to #4 St Omar General Hospital.
1917 Sep 23. Admitted to #3 General Hospital London - "defective septum"
1917 Nov 29. Posted to overseas Training Brigade
1918 Jan 24. Back to 3 Gen Hospital London
1918 Feb 18 posted to School of Instruction, Candahar Barracks.
1918 Apr 9. Posted to France. To 34 Brigade
1918 May 26 Wounded in action on the Somme
1918 May 29. Invalided to England
1918 May 31. His record gives his wife as Kathleen Mary Collings, The Bungalow, Camprow Harlow, Essex
1918 Jul 19. Operation on lower buttock at Sutton Military Hospital.
1918 Aug 10. Returns to his unit.
1918 Sep 7. Posted to HQ of AEF at Tidworth
1918 Oct 24. Posted to France
1918 Dec . His wife died leaving large debts and no will.
1918 Dec 20. He was discharged at his own request as a Lieutenant in England on 20th December 1918. His letter of resignation says that he needs to sort out the matter, and that there is no reason for him to return to Australia as he was "only visiting" when war broke out. He gives his home address as 12 Edith Rd, West Kensington.
1918 Dec .Marries again in London to Violet Eleanor Cater (nee Horley, a widow aged 30) This appears to be about 3 weeks after his first wife died.
There appear to be two children Katharine J Collings, b1921 and Gustave R Collings b1925.(he must be Gustave Rex Collings, commissioned 2nd Lt in 1945)
1919 Jul 15. London Gazette reports that a Receiving Order was rescinded. Arthur Edward Collings, Railway Transport Office, Waterloo Station, in the county of London, an Officer in His Majesty's Army.
1920 Jul 27 Joined ADRIC with service no 19
1920 Nov 3. Resigned from ADRIC at his own request
1951 Oct/Dec Died Isle of Wight ?