Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

George Herbert CUMMINGS (1892–1916)

(Cummings is also listed on the Old Marston Roll of Honour and thus appears twice in the “tour”)

George Cummings

George Herbert Cummings was born in Old Marston in 1892, the son of Henry George Cummings (born in Old Marston in 1859/60 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 8 January 1860) and Julia Ann Ward (born in Old Marston in 1863 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 2 August).

His parents were married in haste at St Nicholas’s Church on 9 April 1882 and had the following children:

  • Julia Elizabeth Cummings (born in Old Marston in 1882 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 3 July)
  • Ada Amelia Cummings (born in Old Marston in 1884 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 7 September)
  • Hilda Ethel Cummings (born in Old Marston in 1886 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 17 January)
  • Ida Lucy Cummings (born in Old Marston in 1889/90 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 13 January 1890)
  • George Herbert Cummings (born in Old Marston in 1892 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 22 May, but birth not reg. until the third quarter of 1892)
  • Clara Louisa Cummings, known as Louie (born in Old Marston in 1895 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church in April )
  • Thomas Frederick Cummings (born in Old Marston on 21 January 1900 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 25 February)
  • Albert Edward Cummings (born in Old Marston on 3 June 1902 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 27 July).

At the time of the 1891 census, shortly before George’s birth, his father was an agricultural labourer, living in Old Marston with his wife and their first four children.

At the time of the 1901 census George (9) was living in Old Marston with his parents and four of his siblings Ada (17), Ida (11), Clara (6), and Thomas (1). His father was described as a cattleman on a farm, and his mother was working as a laundress.

In 1911 the family was still living in Old Marston: George (18) was a hay tier and his father Henry (51) was still an agricultural labourer. George’s three younger siblings were at home, and even though the house only had four rooms altogether there were two grandchildren staying: Herbert Cummings (9) and Eva Cummings (2). Herbert’s grandfather, known as George Cummings senior (born in Old Marston in 1829/30 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 28 February 1830) was living on his own elsewhere in Old Marston and still working as a farm labourer at the age of 81.

On 11 December 1915 at St Nicholas's Church, Old Marston, George Herbert Cummings, described as a soldier, married Edith Ellen Titcomb (born in Marston in 1896/7, the daughter of the labourer Frank Titcomb). They settled in Ferry Road in New Marston. They had one daughter, born exactly two weeks after George’s death and all three of her forenames were evidently in his honour:

  • Georgina Hero Frances Cummings (born on 28 August 1916 and baptised 8 October at St Nicholas’s Church).

Poppy In the First World War George Herbert Cummings had volunteered to serve by December 1915. He was a Lance-Corporal in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 4706). He was killed in action at the Somme in France at the age of 24 on 14 August 1916.

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10A and 10D); on the New Marston War Memorial on the Marston Road, Oxford; and on the Roll of Honour of St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston.


Postscript

New Marston War Memorial

George’s widow
  • Mrs Edith Ellen Cummings married the widower William Henry Smith, a plasterer of Cherwell Cottage, New Marston, at St Nicholas's Churh in Old Marston on 26 December 1927. She went to live with him at Cherwell Cottage, and their daughter Joan Ellen Smith was born there on 24 April 1929 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 19 May.
George’s daughter
  • Georgina Hero Frances Cummings married John I. Pether in the third quarter of 1937 in the Ploughley registration district. She died in 1995.

See also

Back to New Marston War Memorial

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website