The Collins family moved from Shepreth to Harston by 1901 and brothers Thomas (born 1882), Jack (born 1892), Robert (born 1895) and Fred (born 1899) all lived in Green Man Lane, Harston in 1901, along with two sisters. Their parents John and Julia later moved to Violet Cottage, Button End, Harston. All four brothers fought in WW1 but Robert did not return.
A single, farm labourer, he was one of the first Harston men to volunteer (for the Suffolk Regiment) as reported in the Cambridge Independent Press on 4 September 1914.
He died of wounds on 19 Apr 1916 on the Somme.
He is buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. Grave A 19 26. His parents requested that his gravestone should be inscribed ‘Farewell dear son and brother, until we meet again.’