The AIF Project

Derwas Goring Charles CUMMING

Regimental number3087
Date of birth29 September 1891
Place of birthMillicent, South Australia
SchoolChristian Brothers College, Perth, Western Australia
Other trainingTrinity College, Melbourne University, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressYalkine, Doodlakine, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs K F A Cumming, Yalkine, Doodlakine, Western Australia
Previous military serviceCadets, Perth
Enlistment date23 September 1914
Rank on enlistmentDriver
Unit nameDivisional Ammunition Column (Sept-Oct 1914)
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board Transport A7 Medic on 2 November 1914
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion

2nd Lieutenant

Unit: INF48
Promotion date: 12 March 1916


Unit: INF48
Promotion date: 1 October 1916

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Cross

Recommendation date: 14 June 1917

Companion of the Distinguished Service Order

Recommendation date: 9 April 1918

FateKilled in Action 3 May 1918
Place of death or woundingMonument Wood, Villers-Bretonneux, France
Age at death27
Age at death from cemetery records27
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles and Katherine CUMMING, 246 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Western Australia

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During an attack he handled two companies with great ability, and by his quick appreciation of the situation and prompt and efficient action he was greatly responsible for the final success.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Bar to Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in command of a flank company. When the enemy attacked he repeatedly repulsed them, and later protected the left, bringing very heavy fire onto the enemy particually at right angles to the line, and fighting a brilliant rear guard action until the battalion was established in fresh positions.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 15
Date: 4 February 1919

Other detailsMedals: Military Cross and Bar, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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