Edwin Read Collisson was born in Hampstead in 1887, the son of William and E. M. Collisson. He moved to Wolverhampton in about 1905 and was articled to the local solicitor’s firm, Messrs. Underhill, Thorneycroft and Smith. Later he became managing clerk for Messrs. May and Court, and in 1913 joined the firm of Messrs. G. R. Thorne and Co. He took part in the Wolverhampton Cricket Club, being captain of the second team, and was a close friend of the former vicar of St Andrew’s Church in Whitmore Reans, Rev. E. M. Baker. He also became a churchwarden at the church.
An active member of the Territorials, he had become a lieutenant in the Transport Section of the South Staffordshire Regiment by the time war broke out, and was promoted to captain while on active service abroad. A newspaper cutting in a scrapbook of First World War-related material at the archives, dated 19 October 1915, gives the first intimation of his fate. A meeting of munitions workers had taken place the previous day, at which the speakers were the local MPs Alfred Bird and G. R. Thorne. Among other things, Mr Thorne “had told them that he feared his partner, Captain E. R. Collison [sic], had lost his life.” A report in the Wolverhampton Chronicle the following day gives more details. On 13 October 1915, he was shot through the spine. He remained conscious for an hour before he succumbed to his wounds, but apparently suffered no pain. A small piece appeared in the Express & Star on 25 October 1915, giving details of a memorial service held at St Andrew’s Church for “the brave men of Whitmore Reans”. Among the men being honoured was Edwin Collisson. Collisson was also one of a number of Local Officers commemorated in a piece headed “The Great Sacrifice”, which was published in the Express & Star on 22 September 1916. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial in France.