QX6011 Lieutenant Colonel Clement James Cummings, DSO OBE

Date of birth25 May 1908 Atherton, QLD 
Date commissioned  1929-01-25  Appointed lieutenant to 31st Battalion. 
Date promoted  1939-09-21  Appointed major 51st Battalion. 
Other units  1939-10-13  Transferred to 2/12th Battalion. 
Other  1939-11-06  Appointed officer commanding B Company. 
Other  1940-06-17  Arrived in Scotland. 
Other units  1940-07-11  Second in command 72nd (2/33rd) Battalion. 
Other  1941-03-08  Arrived in the Middle East from the United Kingdom. 
Date promoted  1941-12-27 - 1944-07-31  Appointed lieutenant colonel and commanding officer 2/9th Battalion. 
Date returned to Australia  1942-03-28   
Other  1942-08-14  Arrived in New Guinea. 
Date wounded  1942-12-24  Recieved gun shot wound to the chest. 
Other  1943-02-15  Returned to unit in New Guinea. 
Date returned to Australia  1943-03-12  Returned to Cairns. 
Date of honour or award  1943-05-29  Officer of the Order of the British Empire. 'This officer was appointed to Command 2/9 Aust. Inf. Bn. on 27 Dec. 41, subsequent to his participation in the Syrian campaign as 2 i/c 2/33 Aust. Inf. Bn. Since commanding the 2/9 Aust. Inf. Bn., his ability and hard work has contributed greatly to the excellent fighting efficiency of the unit as reflected in the recent action in the MILNE BAY area. During this action his Bn. continued the advance on 3 Sept. against the Japanese invasion forces at MILNE BAY taking over from 2/12 Aus. Inf. Bn. on that Bn. reaching its objective, inflicting heavy casualties on the Japanese forces, and finally driving them from their bases and completely overwhelming their resistance. The personal example and excellent leadership of the Commanding Officer, greatly contributed to the success of 2/9 Aust. Inf. Bn. in this action.' Cummings was recommended for this award by Brigadier Wootten, Commander of the 18th Brigade. 
Other  1943-08-12  Arrived in Moresby. 
Date of honour or award  1943-12-30  Mention in Despatches. 'Lt-Col CUMMINGS led the 2/9 Aust Inf Bn in their most successful attack on the strongly held Japanese positions at CAPE ENDAIADERE on 18 Dec 42 and subsequent successful attacks on 19, 21 and 22 Dec 42 in the NEW STRIP - CAPE ENDAIADERE area until reaching the mouth of SIMEMI CREEK. Throughout the whole period of the attack the personal bearing and disregard of personal safety and his cool calm manner of walking amongst his men was an outstanding influence to his Bn. Lt-Col CUMMINGS was wounded in battle on 24 Dec 42 and evacuated to hospital. The excellent leadership, command and tactical ability of this officer was largely responsible for the initial breaking of the strong resistance of the enemy in the CAPE ENDAIADERE area and the very successful subsequent operations carried out by the 2/9 Aust Inf Bn. Lt-Col CUMMINGS was previously recommended for the award of the O.B.E. by this Bde in periodical awards forwarded Sept 42.' In this case Cummings was recommended by Brigadier Wootten, Commander 18th Brigade, for a Distinguished Service Order, however Cummings was instead awarded a Mention in Despatches. 
Other units  1944-02-20 - 1944-04-08  Attached to Headquarters, 18th Australian Brigade. 
Date returned to Australia  1944-05-07  Returned to Townsville. 
Other  1944-08-01  Relinquished command of 2/9th Battalion. 
Other units  1944-08-01 - 1945-11-15  Appointed commanding officer of the combat unit 1st Australian Beach Group. 
Date promoted  1944-08-15  Appointed temporary colonel. 
Date promoted  1944-11-24  Appointed colonel. 
Other  1945  Appointed commanding officer of the Sandakan Force. 
Date of honour or award  1945-03-09  Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. 'During the above period this officer has commanded 2/9 Aust Inf Bn, shortly before the commencement of the period the bn had absorbed a large number of new officers and ORs. In the consequent reorganisation and training of the bn, he displayed outstanding energy and ability as a result of which the unit was quickly welded into a well disciplined and efficient fighting organisation. During the recent operation resulting in the capture of SHAGGY RIDGE and KANKIRYO SADDLE, he led his bn with courage, skill and vigour. His quick judgement and drive in rapidly outflanking the enemy and surprising him on HILL 4100 was largely responsible for the successful completion of the final phase of the operation. Lt Col Cummings also commanded the 2/9 Bn during the MILNE BAY and BUNA campaigns with conspicuous success.' Cummings was recommended for this award by Brigadier Chilton, Commander 18th Brigade. 
Other  1945-03-26  Arrived in Morotai. 
Other  1945-06-04  Arrived in Labuan. 
Other  1945-09-21  Arrived in Morotai. 
Date returned to Australia  1945-09-23  Returned to Cairns. 
Other  1945-11-15  Relinquished command of 1st Australian Beach Group. 
Other  1945-11-24  Reserve of Officers 
Date of death6 January 1991 Canberra 

Born in Atherton, Queensland on 25 May 1908, Clement James Cummings was married to Mary Adell Cummings and working as an accountant when he enlisted in the AIF on 27 October 1939. In May 1940, QX6011 Major C J Cummings sailed from Sydney with the 2/12th Battalion for the Middle East. En route, the 18th Brigade was diverted to the United Kingdom to bolster its defences following the fall of France. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commanding Officer of the 2/9th Battalion in December 1940, Cummings saw action at Giarubub and Tobruk in North Africa and later in Syria before returning to Australia with the 2/9th Batalion in March 1942. After rest, refitting and training Cummings took the 2/9th Battalion to Papua New Guinea, taking part in the savage fighting at Milne Bay and Buna and the Finisterre Range. For his service during this period, Lieutenant Colonel Cummings was Mentioned in Dispatches for his 'gallant and distinguished services [in the] South West Pacific Area', was appointed to the Oder of the British Empire for his 'personal example and leadership [at] Milne Bay' and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his 'outstanding leadership and ability [in the] Ramu Valley Area'. Appointed Commanding Officer of 1 Australian Beach Group in September 1944, Cummings