Bridge of Weir

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135461 Private David Cummings

5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles

killed in action 1st October 1916

aged 28

Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt
Freeland Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir

Son of David Cummings and Magdalen Blair
The Mimosas, Bridge of Weir

His Life

David was born on 11th March 1888 in Bridge of Weir, the second of three surviving children of David Cummings, then a tanyard labourer originally from Ireland and Magdalen Blair from New Monkland, Lanarkshire who had married in Calton, Glasgow on 12th June 1885.

In 1891, David (35), Magdalen (36) and their family of two lived in Campbell's Land, Bridge of Weir, by which time David had become a tanner.

In 1901, the family lived in a 3 roomed flat in the Mimosas, Bridge of Weir. Helen (Nellie) was already working as a dressmaker at the age of 14.

The family was still in the Mimosas in 1911. David junior (23) was a commercial traveller in cotton yarns. David senior was still a tanner at the leather works. Helen and Anne were both dressmakers.

By 1915 David had emigrated to Canada where, like many expatriates from the UK, he volunteered for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He was still single, working as a clerk, and on 27th July 1915 at the Toronto Armories, was pronounced fit to serve. He was 27 years old. His attestation papers are over-stamped with 74th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force which had been authorized on 10th July 1915. The battalion embarked for Great Britain on 29th March 1916, where it provided reinforcements to Canadian Corps in the field.

At some subsequent point David was sent to reinforce the 5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles (Quebec Regiment). In 1916, it had converted to an infantry battalion attached to 8th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division. David joined them in time to take part in one of the actions of the Battle of the Somme.

On 1st October 1916, the 5th C.M.R. was given the objective of capturing and holding part of Regina Trench during the Battle of the Ancre Heights. The detailed account in the War Diaries describe a fiercely fought assault and holding operation of 34 hours near continuous fighting, only for the gains to be lost in a German counter attack. The trench was eventally taken in November 1916. David was one of the 45 "Other Ranks" killed that day.

David Cummings senior was a deacon in Freeland Church, Bridge of Weir. His death was reported in the Freeland Church Record as 10th May 1918, 18 months after his only son.


1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age
Ellen5 Nellie14Helen24 Bridge of Weir
David3 David12David23 Bridge of Weir
Annie9Anne19 Bridge of Weir


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