The AIF Project


Regimental number5072
Place of birthKatanning, Western Australia
Other NamesMark Hugh
SchoolKatanning School, Western Australia
Other trainingNil
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm hand
AddressKatanning, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 9"
Weight120 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Emily Stanley, Katanning, Western Australia
Previous military service4 years, Cadets.
Enlistment date18 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 January 1916
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 31 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 April 1917
Place of death or woundingBapaume, Somme Sector, France
Age at death20.10
Age at death from cemetery records20
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: Joseph CUMMINGS and Emily STANLEY (formerly CUMMINGS), Three Springs, Western Australia
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 790 Pte Alan CUMMINGS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, killed in action, 15 June 1915; 5071 Corporal Roy Leo CUMMINGS, 48th Bn, returned to Australia, 5 September 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Egypt, 24 April 1916; marched into 4th Training Bn, 24 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilels, France, 14 June 1916.

Proceeded to join 48th Bn, France, 15 August 1916; taken on strength, 13 August 1916.

To hospital, 25 January 1917 (mumps); admitted to 39th Casualty Clearing Station, 26 January 1917; transferred to Ambulance Train, 27 January 1917; to 14th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 28 January 1917; to No 1 Convalescent Depot, 2 February 1917; discharged, 17 February 1917; marched into 4th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 18 February 1917.

Rejoined 48th Bn, France, 6 March 1917.

Killed in action, France, 9 April 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CUMMINGS Mark Hughy

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