ID numberP04362.001
Collection typePhotograph
Object typeBlack & white - Print other than silver gelatin
MakerTalma Studio [Adelaide]
Place madeAustralia: South Australia, Adelaide
Date madec 1914
DescriptionStudio 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.