Studio portrait of 5561 Private Roy Lytton Cummings, 3rd Field Ambulance, 10th Reinforcements, ...

Accession Number P04362.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print other than silver gelatin
Maker Talma Studio [Adelaide]
Place made Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Date made c 1914
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Studio portrait of 5561 Private Roy Lytton Cummings, 3rd Field Ambulance, 10th Reinforcements, prior to his departure for service overseas. A native of Franklin, Tas, Cummings enlisted on 19 November 1914. He embarked for service overseas aboard HMAT Ballarat (A70) on 9 September 1915 and saw a short period of service in the last month of the Gallipoli campaign. In January 1916, he successfully applied to be remustered as a Driver and saw service in France with No 4 Ammunition Sub Park at Rouen until July 1917, when he applied for a transfer to the Flying Corps and was accepted on 29 September 1917. Assigned to No 5 (Training) Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (based at Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire), in early 1918, Cummings quickly displayed an impressive flair for flying. Major Brown, commanding 5 Squadron AFC, wrote to Cummings' father 'he came to me as a pupil and did so well I had him made an instructor'. Second Lieutenant Cummings passed his instructor's course in May 1918, and actively trained student pilots at Minchinhampton until he was killed several months later in a flying accident, aged 24 years. At 7.25 am on the morning of 28 August 1918, Cummings and his pupil, Lieutenant Scott, were flying above the aerodrome when a pupil from another squadron flying by himself (Ernest Jefferys of No 6 (Training) Squadron, AFC, who had been ordered to practise turns), collided with Cummings' aircraft at a height of 1,500 feet. Both machines crashed to earth, killing all three occupants instantly. Following an inquest into the incident, a verdict of accidental death was reached in the cases of all three AFC officers.

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