Help us promote Lemnos' link to Anzac - Make a donation now

Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Lemnos Hero - Private Edward James Cummings - Digger and Freemason

Gravestone of Private Edward Cummings, East Mudros Military Cememtery, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Today we recognise the service of Private (Service Number 2052) Edward James Cummings who was buried on Lemnos this month 102 years ago.
Edward is the first Freemason to be identified among the diggers buried on Lemnos.
Edward enlisted at Liverpool on the 18th January 1915 into the 5th Reinforcements of the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion 5th Reinforcements. He was relatively old for a digger, recording his age as 33 years old on his AIF Attestation Paper.
Sydney Morning Herald, 9th September 1915. Uploaded to NAA by Kiely McGregor
An engineer by profession - or more specifically an engineers pattern maker, Edward had been born in England - at St Mary’s Extra in Southampton, Hampshire. By the time he enlisted Edward was living at Napier Street in Drummoyne, NSW - residing with the Bulfin family - and by this stage his next of kin was given to be his brother George Cummings of Victoria Dock, London. He was one of many diggers born in the United Kingdom.
Edward embarked from Sydney on the HMAT A55 Kyarra on 13th April 1915.
Having served on the Gallipoli peninsula for a number of months, Edward was tragically wounded and while at sea aboard the SS Reiva died of these wounds. He had received a"shrapnel wound head” during action on the peninsula.
He was taken ashore at Lemnos and buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on 3rd August 1915. His grave is located at III. D. 53.
His family requested the following epitaph to be placed on his grave stone – “God be with you Till we meet again.”
Service File of Private Edward James Cummings, NAA
Among his personal effects returned to his family was a "masonic diploma." While he is most likely not to have been the only Freemason to have been buried on Lemnos, this is the first time I have discovered documentary evidence of such.

Service File of Private Edward James Cummings, NAA
Another possible digger buried on Lemnos who may also have been Freemason is another English-born Anzac - Corporal (Service Number 353) John Charles Douglas of the 1st Divisional Headquarters. Born in Hackney, London, John was 23 years old when he succumbed to enteric fever and typhoid while under the care of the medical facilities on Lemnos. He is also buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery. After his death, his next of kin - his sister Ethel - sought particulars of her brothers death, in part "for Lodge purposes" This reproduced below. This implies that John may well have also been a Freemason.
Correspondence of Ethel Stott, Service File of Corporal John Charles Douglas, NAA.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

No comments:

Post a Comment