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Captain Sir Robert Henry Muirhead Collins KCMG [1] (1852–1927) was an English-born Royal Navy officer, Colonial (Permanent Victorian Naval Forces) naval officer, Colonial public servant, Australian Federationist, Australian public service department head and Australia's official representative in London.[2][3]

Life summary


1852 Born 20 September 1852, Chew Magna, Somerset, England
1866 1877 Joins Royal Navy
1876 Appointed Lieutenant
1877 Appointed Lieutenant Commander; retired from Royal Navy
1877 Appointed lieutenant in the Permanent Victorian Naval Forces (PVNF), Victoria, Australia
1884 Appointed Commander, PVNF
1886 Retired from Victorian navy with rank of Captain
1886 Married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Samuel Brush, pastoralist, of Boondara, New South Wales.
1886 1901 Secretary for Defence in Colony of Australia
1901 1906 Inaugural Secretary of the Australian Department of Defence
1904 Appointed CMG[5]
1906 1910 Official Secretary to the Commonwealth of Australia in London
1913 Delegate for the Commonwealth Government at the
International Conference on Lifesaving at Sea in London
1917 Retired
1919 Knighted KCMG
1927 Died 19 April 1927, Bath, Somerset, England[6]

Collins was born to Dr Charles Howell Collins, a surgeon, and his Henrietta Jane Heaven (née Groset). Collins died in 1927 and was survived by his wife and their son, Major Howel Collins (graduated from Royal Military Academy in Woolwich) of the Australian Army.


  1. KCMG, London Gazette, 7 October 1919.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chris Cunneen and Ann G. Smith 'Collins, Sir Robert Henry Muirhead (1852–1927)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, (MUP), 1981.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sir R. M. Collins. Death in New York., The Register, 21 April 1927, pg.9.
  4. Collins, Sir Robert Henry Muirhead (1852–1927), Life Summary, Australian Dictionary of Biography
  5. CMG, 24 June 1904, It's an Honour. Citation: Secretary of the Department of Defence

External links

Government offices
New title Secretary of the Department of Defence
Succeeded by
Sir Samuel Pethebridge

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