Born in 1887, son of James and Mary Louisa Collis, James was a blacksmith living in Maiden Street, Weston. Baptised on 18 May 1887 at Weston. 1911 Census: living in with Frank (also a blacksmith) and Annie Lee as a Boarder at Turnpike, Baldock and working as a Farm Labourer. Married May Aveley in 1912.
He lived in Hitchin Street, Baldock with his wife and two children and was employed at Simpsons, a brewery in Baldock. Enlisted Bedford.