Cummins, William (No. 1881267)

Cummins, William (Billy)

Sergeant (Flight Engineer)

No. 1881267, 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died on active service on Thursday 22 March 1945 (aged 30)

Buried:

Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany (Grave 6. D. 7)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s)

BIOGRAPHY

William (Billy) Cummins was born on 25 January 1915 in Alfred Street, Bangor and baptised in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s) on 21 February 1915.  He was a son of Samuel and Ellenor (Eleanor) Jane (Nellie) Cummins (nee Carter) who were married on 28 December 1910 in the Mariner’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  Samuel Cummins (aged 24), a widowed apprentice plater from 52 Fairview Street, Belfast who worked in Harland and Wolff, Belfast was a son of William Cummins, a wood turner.  Ellenor Jane Carter (aged 24) from 52 Fairview Street, Belfast was a daughter of James Carter, a plater.

Samuel’s first wife was Mary (Minnie) Adair and they were married on 24 December 1907 in Lisburn Road Methodist Church, Belfast.  Minnie Adair died on 31 July 1908 following a miscarriage.

Samuel and Ellenor Jane (Nellie) Cummins (nee Carter) moved to Bangor and they had at least four children:

Isabella Carter (born 26 March 1912 in Alfred Street, Bangor)

William (born 23 January 1915 in Alfred Street, Bangor)

Christopher Carter (born 12 March 1916 in Springfield Road, Bangor)

Elizabeth (born 4 August 1917 at 27 Springfield Road, Bangor)

Billy Cummins’s uncle Chris Carter lived at 12 Prospect Road, Bangor and Billy was seven years old when his mother Nellie died in March 1922 (aged 36).

When Billy’s father Samuel moved to England to work for Swan Hunter at Birkenhead, Billy stayed on in Bangor because of his job and his ties with local scouting.  Billy worked as a car mechanic in W.H. Alexander’s Garage in Belfast and he was Assistant Scoutmaster to Sandy Dalzell in First Bangor Scout Troop.  Billy Cummins joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and, sometime during the Second World War, according to family sources, he got married.

Sergeant William Cummins (No. 1881267) served with 166 Squadron in Bomber Command and on 22 March 1945 he was one of a seven man crew aboard an Avro Lancaster Mark I aircraft (PD365) that took off at 11.27 pm from RAF Kirmington in Lincolnshire on a mission to bomb the railway yards at Hildesheim in Germany.  Their aircraft failed to return and the other six airmen who died that night were:

  • Flight Sergeant Richard Ernest Moore (aged 29) from Thornton Heath, Surrey
  • Sergeant John Hanlon (aged 21)
  • Flight Sergeant John Marrinan (aged 22) from Copster Green, Lancashire
  • Warrant Officer Laurence Reed (aged 23) from Leeds
  • Sergeant Frank Hume (aged 23) from Foulness, Essex
  • Flight Sergeant Clifford Theadore Johnson (aged 19) Royal Canadian Air Force)

Sergeant Billy Cummins (No. 1881267) was 30 when he died, and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s).

At the time of Billy’s death his father Samuel was living in Bebington, Cheshire.