Cumming, William Herbert (No. 17518)

Cumming, William Herbert (Herbert)

Company Sergeant Major

No. 17518, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 31)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

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

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

Brother of Private Richard Percy Cumming (No. 14555)

BIOGRAPHY

William Herbert Cumming was born on 25 May 1885 in Bow Street, Lisburn and he was the 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.  Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William Herbert Cumming worked as a plumber and he was a member of Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL) No. 746, Crawfordsburn Masonic Lodge No. 170 and the local contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

William Herbert Cumming enlisted in Bangor, he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 31 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  He has no known grave.

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.

Company Sergeant Major William Herbert Cumming (No. 17518) is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; 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 family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.