Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Information
04/06/2020 02772
30/01/2017 William was well-known in local rugby football circles, and was a member of the brilliant Queens College rugby team of 1899-1900 which went through the season with an unbeaten record and won three cups. He was an excellent scrum half-back, and played in the inter-provincial team with another famous footballer, the late John D Ferris, who afterwards died in India while serving in the Indian Medical Services.
30/01/2017 Captain William Gordon Cummings, M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps, brother of Mr Robert Cummings, Scotch Street, Dungannon, was killed in action on 18th May. A former pupil of Dungannon Royal School and a graduate Queens University of Belfast, Captain Cummings was in practice in the Hanwell and West Ealing districts of London when war was declared. He was formerly well-known in local football circles, and was a member of the brilliant Queens College rugby team of 1899-1900 which went through the season with an unbeaten record and won three cups. He was an excellent scrum half-back, and played in the inter-provincial team with another famous footballer, the late John D Ferris, who afterwards died in India while serving in the Indian Medical Services.
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30/01/2017 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 24th May 1917:
30/12/2015 William Cummings and was educated at the Royal School, Dungannon from 1894 to 1897.
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30/12/2015 From the Tyrone Courier dated Thursday 7 June 1917: Captain William G Cummings
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30/12/2015 William Cummings was a brother of Mr Robert Cummings of Scotch Street, Dungannon, and of the Rev J Cummings, M.A., London.
30/12/2015 Surgeon Captain William Cummings was killed in action on 18th May 1917 in the battle around Bullecourt, when a shell exploded in a dug out where he was treating injured soldiers. He was 39 years old.
30/12/2015 In a letter home to his wife shortly before he died, Surgeon Captain William Cummings wrote:- 'We are now proceeding right up into the fray with the stretcher bearers, and things are pretty hot just where we are, and I expect they will be hotter still. Brought up my section here last night, and during that time there was a terrible barrage. 'I hope my darling little girl is all right. Dear little girl, I cried about her last night while going along the road on my horse leading my men. I am doing my duty at any rate, in fact more than most.'
30/12/2015 M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps, (brother of Mr Robert Cummings, Scotch Street, Dungannon, and Rev James Cummings, M.A., London), killed in action on the 18th May 1917.
30/12/2015 By 1905, Doctor William Cummings was living in London. In a few years, he had built up a remarkable medical practice in the districts of Hanwell and West Ealing, London. He was a member of the Ealing Division of the British Medical Association.
30/12/2015 In 1908, William married Mary Pleasance Cracknell.
30/12/2015 The deceased gentleman, had in a few years, built up a remarkable medical practice by his skill, diligence, courtesy and kindness. The news of his death was received with great sorrow by the thousands who not only knew him, but loved him in the districts of Hamwell and West Ealing, London, who admired not only his skill as a medical gentleman, but his courage and patriotism, and were therefore longing to welcome him back again. The late Doctor Cummings was the brother of Mr Robert Cummings of Scotch Street, Dungannon, and of the Rev J Cummings, M.A., London, and was educated at the Royal School, Dungannon.
30/12/2015 Knowing that he was about to go up closer to the terrific cannonading, he probably concluded that his life was about to be sacrificed and home evidently flashing upon his mind, he added:- 'I hope my darling little girl is all right. Dear little girl, I cried about her last night while going along the road on my horse leading my men. I am doing my duty at any rate, in fact more than most.'
30/12/2015 We deeply regret having to announce the death of Surgeon Captain William Cummings on the 18th May, in the battle around Bullecourt. The deceased gentleman, at great personal inconvenience, voluntarily joined the forces long before the day of conscription. The few lines to his wife, written as he was approaching the greatest danger, evidently indicate how he met his fate:- 'We are now proceeding right up into the fray with the stretcher bearers, and things are pretty hot just where we are, and I expect they will be hotter still. Brought up my section here last night, and during that time there was a terrible barrage.'
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30/12/2015 William voluntarily joined the forces long before the day of conscription, in January 1915. He enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
30/12/2015 William graduated M.B., B.Ch., and B.A.O. of the Royal University of Ireland in 1903, and subsequently obtained the D.P.H.
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30/12/2015 When studying at Queens University, he lived at 56 Carmel Street, Belfast.
30/12/2015 The 1901 census lists William as age 22, a medical student, at house 48 in Coalisland, Tullyniskane, County Tyrone. He was living with his sister and brother in law, Margaret and William Thompson. They were Grocer, Hardware, Boot and Shoe Merchants.
30/12/2015 The 1901 census records that his mother was a widow. Eliza was listed as a boot manufacturer in Scotch Street. Her son Robert Cummings was assisting her.
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30/12/2015 William went on to study Medicine at Queens University, entering on 19 October 1898.
30/12/2015 In a letter to Mrs. Cummings informing her of the instantaneous death of her husband, the A.D.M.S. of his division wrote:
30/12/2015 William Gordon Cummings was the son of James and Eliza Cummings. William was born on 13 July 1877 in Dungannon, County Tyrone.
30/12/2015 He is also commemorated on the headstone of the family plot in St Andrew's Parish Church in Killyman
30/12/2015 William Cummings is buried in Mory Abbey Military Cemetery in France.
30/12/2015 William retained his interest in Ulster politics, for in 1912 his signature could be found on the Ulster Covenant, signing in Westminster.
30/12/2015 In 1910, they had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Cummings.
30/12/2015 For a time after qualifying, William Cummings acted as resident medical officer at Richmond Hospital, Dublin.
30/12/2015 From the Tyrone Courier dated 17 May 1917
30/12/2015 "He was struck by a shell which exploded in the dug-out in which he was attending to the wounded. I feel his loss deeply, as lie was an officer of whom I had formed the highest possible opinion, and on whom I placed the greatest reliance. He was always cheery under the most adverse circumstances. Such an officer the R.A.M.C. can ill afford to lose."
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