|Last Post film
Australian War Memorial
|Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
|13 November 2013
First World War, 1914-1918
Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
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The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3087) Captain Derwas Goring Charles Cumming, 48th Battalion (Infantry), First World War
The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Joanne Smedley, the story for this day was on (3087) Captain Derwas Goring Charles Cumming, 48th Battalion (Infantry), First World War.Film order form
Captain Derwas Goring Charles Cumming, 48th Battalion
KIA 3 May 1918
Photograph: P10822.001 (far left) and E01767 (3rd from right, front row)
Story delivered 13 November 2013
Today we remember and pay tribute to Captain Derwas Goring Charles Cumming.
Derwas Cumming enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force with his elder brother Redmond in September 1914. Redmond went into the 16th Battalion, while Derwas joined the Divisional Ammunition Column as a driver. In this capacity, he missed the landing on Gallipoli and spent most of the campaign, as his brother put it, "in Alexandria, looking after horses" until arrangements were made for him to join his brother in the 16th Battalion. He went on to accept a commission as a second lieutenant in the 48th Battalion, and was sent to the Western Front.
Eventually attaining the rank of captain, Cumming fought with distinction on the Somme and at Passchendaele and was awarded the Military Cross at Messines in 1917. In April 1918 his company was instrumental in repelling a German attack near Albert, and Cumming's "conspicuous gallantry and ability in command" resulted in him being awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
In May 1918, as the 48th Battalion conducted an operation in Monument Wood near the village of Villers-Bretonneux, Derwas Cumming was killed by German machine guns while leading his company in the assault. His body was buried by his comrades, but his grave was subsequently lost. He has no known resting place.
Captain Cumming was posthumously awarded a bar to his Military Cross for this action. His mother received the award in his absence from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at a ceremony in Perth in 1920.
Derwas Cumming's brother Redmond was captured by the Germans shortly after arriving in France and spent 22 months in captivity. He returned home to his wife and three children, but died in 1922 and was considered by his mother to be a casualty of the war. A third son, Caton Cumming, served on a hospital ship for the duration of the war. Their uncle Brigadier General Michael Derwas Goring-Jones commanded the British 149th Division with distinction on the Somme, but died in May 1919 of the effects of gas poisoning sustained during the war.
Derwas Cumming's name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 60,000 others from the First World War, and his photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.
This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Captain Derwas Goring Charles Cumming, Brigadier General Michael Derwas Goring-Jones, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.
Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3087) Captain Derwas Goring Charles Cumming, 48th Battalion (Infantry), First World War (video)