The oldest Jewish Anzac

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My father, Harold Collins, was born in 1892 and died in 1992. This made him the oldest Jewish Anzac at the time of his death. He often spoke about the war, the Gallipoli episode, where he was a stretcher bearer, the air force, etc. He never spoke about the Somme, although I know he was there.

Harold was born in Malvern, Victoria, but spent most of his childhood in Paddington, NSW with his 9 brothers and sisters, his mother and an occasional father. He met Sir John Monash on Gallipoli and loved to tell stories to my children about his exploits. He was eventually wounded, and sent to the hospital ship and on to Cairo I think.

He told us that one of the saddest things he ever saw was when one of our ships was fired upon and sunk. There were many tales that he told and he also kept a diary, which I have sent to the War Museum in Canberra. There will also be an exhibition of his photos, etc. in the Jewish Museum around next Anzac Day.

Story shared by Julie Edwards

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