- Francis Joseph "Frank" Collopy was born on 24 november
1919 in Prescott, on the outskirts of Liverpool. He was brought up and
went to school in Warrington, Cheshire.
- During World War Two Frank served with the Royal Army Medical
Corps. He was with the 2nd Field Ambulance in Egypt and then with the
14th Field Ambulance in Egypt and Libya. He joined the 133 Parachute
Field Ambulance and was trained at Ringway Airport, close to Warrington.
He served with the L Section of 133 Parachute Field Ambulance in Tunisia, Italy and
The Netherlands. He was nicknamed "the Kid" after his
catchphrase 'you're kidding'.
- During the war Frank married Rhoda Taylor. They had two daughters,
Barbara and Margaret, who visit Arnhem every year with their children.
- On 18 september 1944 Frank Collopy left for Arnhem from Cottesmore
Airfield. He landed on Ginkel Heath and probably joined his unit after
landing. 133 Para Field Ambulance set up a dressing station at the Zuid
Ginkel cafe (today restaurant Juffrouw Tok and partycentrum Zuid
Ginkel). Frank's best friend Sid Cooksley
was killed on Ginkel Heath that day.
- Some of the men of 133 Field Ambulance joined the battalions of 4th
Parachute Brigade on their advance towards Arnhem. The rest of the unit
moved to Wolfheze later that day, where they worked at the psychiatric
hospital. In the days that followed men of 133 Field Ambulance worked in
Oosterbeek, first in two houses along the Utrechtseweg. Practically all
the personnel of 133 Parachute Field Ambulance were captured by the
Germans when they overran the aid posts and dressing stations at the
crossroads of Utrechtseweg and Stationsweg at Oosterbeek on wednesday,
at about 10.00 hrs. The hospital were allowed to carry on, but were now
under German guard. All of the walking wounded were marched off towards
Arnhem. Some of the medical orderlies joined them to take care of them.
Frank Collopy was one of them and he was captured by the Germans. He spent the remainder of the war working in the hospital at
the Fallingbostel X1B POW camp in Germany. He was released by his old
comrades of the 14th Field Ambulance.
- After the war Frank worked
as a foundryman at Wymans in Warrington and following the closure of
that company he worked for many years at Richmonds (later to become New
World) making gas cookers an fires.continued to work at Richmonds until his
retirement. He then worked part time for the Warrington Borough Council
and as a barman at his favourite pub The
Cheshire Cheese, where he was also a member of the fishing club.
With the Cheshire Cheese Club he travelled for Fermoy, Ireland to fish
the river Blackwater. As the club had been visiting Fermoy for many
years, members of the club were given two civic receptions, one in 1991
at The Grand Hotel, and one in 1994 at the Civic Court Rooms, both of
which Frank attended.
- Frank Collopy loved nothing more than travelling back to Arnhem for
the commemorations. He died on 1 november 2007 and his ashes were
interred in the Airborne Cemetery. He lies behind the grave of Sid
Chennell. A year after he died his daughter and two friends
scattered some of Frank's ashes on his favourite fishing place. When the
town council heard about this, they gave permission for a plaque to be
placed on a nearby wall.