52 Mark Cummings
Mark Cummings was born in Wallsend Newcastle, to parents William and Annie Cummings. He also had two brothers and a sister.
Mark had been a 25 year old a carpenter with J W Atcheson at Dickson st Wickham before enlisting.
On the landing day at Gallipoli, Mark was one of the first ashore and was also one of the first to fall. He wasn’t sure of the extent of his wounds at the time, adrenaline pumping through his veins. He actually had a severe gunshot wound to the leg, a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and a compound fracture.
“ I’d rotten luck. I’d no sooner set my foot on the beach then I got a shrapnel bullet in the leg.
It was hardly a pleasant position. Our boys had seen their dead, and were wild. Men might fall, but all those that could stand wanted was to get at the Turks with the cold steel. And they did too. It was a case of having to let the wounded lie, and I spent three hours on my back on the sand, with shrapnel bursting above me without ceasing. It was marvellous that not another bullet struck me. When a little time could be spared for the wounded I was got on to a transport , and after being taken first of all to Lemnos, was removed to Cairo”-
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 12th August 1915.
Mark Cummings wounds were caused by what were described as “explosive” bullets the type considered “never used” by the Germans or the Turks.
The bullet struck above the knee and down to the ankle and he had 13 wounds where shattered pieces of the bullet had made their exit.
He retained the nose end of the bullet to prove it was an explosive one as well as a likely souvenir.
“Bullet Causes 13 Wounds”- EXPLOSIVE PROJECTILE
Thirteen wounds in a leg was sapper Cumming’s share of the damage at Gallipoli.
He was struck above the knees by a bullet which broke. From the knee to the ankle he bears thirteen gashes where shattered pieces of the bullet made their exit. Source: nla.gov.au Weekly Times Saturday 4 September 1915.
Another similar article in the Geelong Advertiser( below) a few weeks earlier described the same experience from Mark Cummings but followed it with an interesting account from fellow wounded soldiers of women snipers “they were the best shots and the most vicious”.
Mark married Nellie Isabel Armstrong Willis in 1934 at Mosman.
Mark Cummings died on 26th january 1959. His wife Nellie applied for his Gallipoli medal in 1967 she was living at Pymble.
Many of his relatives were living in England according to the wounded news reports.
Mark Cummings page is still under construction…..