Phil Collins’ Alamo Collection

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2015-06-26 10:44:08

Phil Collins' Alamo collection was one of the largest private collections of Alamo-related items in the world. In October 2014 he donated the collection to a planned San Antonio museum dedicated to the battle.

Phil Collins

Philip David Charles Collins (1951-present) is a British musician and actor.

He is best known as the drummer and singer in progressive rock band Genesis and for his successful solo career.

He is an ardent supporter of animal rights and a collector of Alamo memorabilia.

The Battle of the Alamo

The battle took place in 1836 at the Alamo, a mission in San Antonio Texas.

A pivotal battle of the Texas Revolution, it saw nearly 200 Texian men, including David Crockett and Jim Bowie, attempt to defend the mission against the Mexican Army.

After a 13 day siege, all but two of the men were killed.

The collection

Collins built "the largest private collection of Alamo memorabilia in the world". It numbered almost 1,000 items according to UK newspaper the Sun.

His interest in the Alamo dates to his childhood when "he became fascinated with Fess Parker's portrayal of Davy Crockett in the long-running TV series", according to the Front Row website.

One of Collins' most prized possessions was a receipt signed by Alamo commander William Barrett Travis for 32 head of cattle, used to feed the Alamo defenders.

Collins claims to have owned hundreds of cannonballs, documents and other artefacts from the Alamo, and housed them in the basement of his home in Switzerland.

Other items included in the collection were saddles, weapons, shells, pieces of horse harness, clothing, letters from Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, posters from the 1960 film starring John Wayne, and teeth found near the site of the battle.

Many of the items were "discovered beneath the foundations of a shop near the Alamo site that Collins bought just so that he could dig underneath it", according to UK newspaper the Telegraph.

In October 2014 Collins donated his collection to a new museum in Texas dedicated to the battle. The museum has yet to be built, with suggestions it could open in 2019.

"This completes the journey for me. I'm 64. When I was 5 or 6 years old, this thing began," explained Collins following the announcement.

"This collection is coming home and it's going to be very interesting for people to come and see and learn."

The location of the museum has not been finalised. The site of the battle is a popular attraction in San Antonio, attracting 2.5 million visitors a year.

See also

Main article: list of notable militaria collectors

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