John Cummins

Date of birth: 1894
Place of birth: Shedfield, nr Southampton
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Battalion: 73rd Field Ambulance
Rank / Service No: Private, 40533
Died: 9th August 1918, aged 25 years
Buried: Anneux British Cemetery, France (Plot II, Row E, Grave 13)


John was the fourth of 5 siblings born to Samuel and Laura Sophia Cummins (nee Randell), who married in Wickham in 1885.

Samuel was born in Stockton, Wiltshire in 1861 and he died in Rochford, Essex in 1914.

Laura was born in Norfolk in 1864 and she passed away in Portsmouth in 1908.


After Laura’s death, Samuel married Hannah Wakefield in Wokingham in 1910. Interestingly Hannah was born in 1880, making her 19 years Samuel’s junior !!



Samuel WALTER   b. 1887 Shedfield   d. 1975 Rugby   Married Emily Elizabeth Beauchamp in Downton on 28 July 1913.

Owen b. 1 July 1889 Shedfield   d. 1957 Droxford   Married Ada H. White in Fareham in 1915.

Ruth b. 1892 Shedfield   d. 1908 Shoreditch


Florence   b. 1897 Shedfield   d. 1902 Shedfield


John married Florence Elizabeth Willcocks in Southampton in 1917, when he must have been home on leave.

Florence was born in Bodmin in 1895 and she married Henry Williams after John’s death, in 1921.

Florence lived until her mid-90’s, passing away in Southampton in 1990.


73rd Field Ambulance was made up entirely of volunteers, and became part of the 24th Division when barracked near Shoreham.

Training suffered from a lack of equipment, officers and NCO’s to command the volunteers and they moved to Aldershot in June 1915 for final training.


The Division moved to France at the end of August 1915 and was concentrated in the area between Etaples and St Pol.

They suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Loos in September and encountered a German gas attack at Wulvergem in early 1916.


The Division then took part in various engagements on the Somme in the rest of 1916 before being heavily involved at Messines and Ypres in 1917.


In 1918, the Division saw further action on the Somme as well as the Battle of Cambrai and the Final Advance in Picardy.

Anneux and surrounding villages were captured by the Allies in late November 1917. anneux was lost on 6 December but recaptured on 27 September 1918.

It may have been during this action that John lost his life.


The original cemetery was made by the 57th Division Burial Officer and by various units in October 1918. At the Armistice, it contained 131 graves but was increased greatly when graves were brought in from the surrounding area.


It now holds 1013 Commonwealth burials, 459 of whom are unidentified.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 27th June 2016


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