The AIF Project

William Gordon CUMMINGS

Regimental number4763
Date of birth--/--/1897
Place of birthEchuca, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
OccupationPostal employee
AddressUrquhart Street, Horsham, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 8.25"
Weight147 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr Cummings, Urquhart Street, Horsham, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets for 4 years (73rd Bn, 'A' Coy, Horsham).
Enlistment date1 November 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Splendid work as telephone linesman in maintaining communications under heavy fire (8-9-May 1917).
Recommendation date: 17 May 1917

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularMilitary Medal
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death17.4
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Ellen CUMMINGS, Urquhart Street, Horsham, Victoria. Native of Echuca, Victoria

Military Medal

Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Found guilty, at sea on board HMAT 'Wiltshire', 21 March 1916, of being late on early morning parade: forfeited 1 day's pay.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 28 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 4 June 1916.

Taken on strength, 8th Bn, 29 July 1916.

Awarded Military Medal.

On leave, 23 August 1917; rejoined unit, 6 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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