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Francis Joseph Collopy

Servicenumber : 7371114
Rank : Private
Regiment : Royal Army Medical Corps
Unit : 133 Parachute Field Ambulance
Date of Death : 01-11-2007
Age : 87
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. 
Picture: 23-09-2012 
Picture: 22-09-2013 
Picture: 18-09-2014
Picture: 17-09-2015
Picture: 12-09-2016
Picture: 19-09-2016
Picture: 17-09-2017
  Picture: 23-09-2018
Picture: 20-09-2019
The plaque at Fermoy. 
Sources: M. Shaw (Daughter of Frank Collopy), 'Operation Market Garden, Then and Now (volume 2)' and 'Red Berets and Red Crosses'


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