Cumming, Richard Percy (No. 14555)

Cumming, Richard Percy (Percy)

Private

No. 14555, 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade

Died of disease on Saturday 1 September 1917 (aged 29)

Buried:

Bangor Old Abbey Churchyard, Co. Down (South-east part)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Wesley Centenary Methodist Church Bangor

Cumming family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

Macartney family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard, Bangor

Brother of Company Sergeant Major William Herbert Cumming (No. 17518)

BIOGRAPHY

Richard Percy Cumming was born on 28 November 1886 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor (at attestation he declared 28 November 1888) and he was the second eldest surviving son of Alexander Richard Cumming and Mary Anne (Marianne) Cumming (nee Macartney) who were married on 23 April 1883 in Queen’s Parade Methodist Church Bangor.  Alexander Richard Cumming, a gentleman who was born in County Westmeath, lived in Bridge Street, Bangor and he was a son of Richard Cumming, a Royal Irish Constabulary Sergeant.  Marianne Macartney from Bridge Street, Bangor was a daughter of John Macartney, a grocer.

Alexander Cumming worked as a grocer and car driver and he and Marianne had four children:

Richard (born 26 May 1884 in Bow Street, Lisburn; died of debility 27 May 1884)

William Herbert (born 25 May 1885 in Bow Street, Lisburn)

Richard Percy (born 28 November 1886 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor)

Edith Jane (born 3 August 1888 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor)

In the mid-1880s the Cumming family moved from Lisburn to Bangor where they lived at 16 Ballymagee Street.  After leaving school Richard Percy Cumming worked in the drapery business.

Richard Percy Cumming moved to Canada where he worked as a brakeman before the outbreak of the Great War.  He enlisted on 24 September 1914 at Valcartier and at attestation he declared 28 November 1888 to be his date of birth.  He was on active service for almost three years before he died.

Private Richard Percy Cumming was 29 when he died on 1 September 1917 at the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich.  He died as a result of disease contracted in the trenches and his remains were brought to Bangor for burial.  A firing party of Cadets preceded the hearse and a company of the Royal Irish Rifles from Clandeboye brought up the rear, after the cortege of civilian mourners.  A group of wounded soldiers from Bangor Hospital stood to attention as the hearse passed by.

His father, Alexander Cumming, died on 4 April 1921 (aged 64) and his mother, Marianne Cumming, died on 18 February 1944 (aged 85).  They were buried in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.

Private Richard Percy Cumming (No. 14555) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum; in Wesley Centenary Methodist Church Bangor and on the Cumming and Macartney family grave headstones in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor, and Bangor Abbey Graveyard.