Spencer Arthur Cummings

Sep 15, 1877

Born in Gananoque, Ontario to William Riley and Almira (nee Howe) Cummings


Apr 22, 1902

Married to Alpha Letitia Albertha Sliter in Gananoque, Ontario


Nov 11, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59220 (temporary number 56)

Ø  Next of kin given as Mrs. Alpha Cummings, wife, Gananoque, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Corset Steel Temperer

o   Later noted as Machinist

Ø  Previous military experience given as 1 summer in the 42nd Lanark and Renfrew Regiment, Canadian Militia

Ø  Religion given as Salvation Army

Ø  Posted to No. 2 Platoon, “A” Company

The 21st Battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area through the winter of 1914-15.


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Oct 5, 1915

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Influenza


Oct 9, 1915

Discharged to duty from the field ambulance


Nov 14, 1915

Admitted to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance with a bullet wound to his back.


Nov 17, 1915

Transferred to the Division Rest Station at No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance in Locre, Belgium


Nov 22, 1915

Discharged to duty from the rest station




Feb 4, 1916

While the battalion was occupying the N & O Trenches near Voormezeele, Belgium, the enemy mounted an attack using Rifle Grenades.  Private Cummings received shrapnel wounds that fractured both legs and was evacuated to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance for first aid


Feb 5, 1916

Transferred to the No. 1 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment


Feb 8, 1916

Transferred via the No. 2 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the Saint John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Etaples, France and placed on the dangerously ill list


Mar 1, 1916

Operation performed to amputate his left leg above the knee due to severe infection


Mar 28, 1916

Removed from the dangerously ill list


Apr 5, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen


On arrival in England he was admitted to the Norfolk War Hospital, Thorpe Road, Norwich

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for pay purposes while in hospital


Apr 20, 1916

Second operation performed to amputate more of the left leg leaving a stump of just 8 ½ inches


May 12, 1916

Transferred to the VAD (Volunteer Aid Detachment) Auxiliary Hospital in Brundall


Sep 28, 1916

Transferred to the Red Cross Hospital Dereham


Dec 6, 1916

Transferred to the Granville Canadian Special Hospital in Ramsgate


Jan 19, 1917

Discharged from hospital and embarked the SS Metagama in Liverpool



Jan 29, 1917

Disembarked in Saint John, New Brunswick and proceeded to Toronto, Ontario

TOS (Taken On Strength) Military District No. 2 in Toronto with instructions to have the patient fitted for an artificial limb


Feb 2, 1917

Admitted to the Spadina Orthopedic Hospital in Toronto


Feb 5, 1917

Transferred to the College Military Hospital in Toronto.  On admission the right leg is noted as still discharging from a 7 inch wound/scar


Apr 1, 1917

Taken on the list of the MHCC (Military Hospital Commission of Canada) in Toronto to be treated as an Out-Patient


Jun 5, 1917

Transferred to the North Toronto Orthopedic Hospital


Jun 30, 1917

To be treated as an Out-Patient of the North Toronto Orthopedic Hospital


Jul 19, 1917

Admitted to the North Toronto Orthopedic Hospital


Aug 29, 1917

Medical Board held at the hospital notes

Ø  Left leg has been amputated above the knee

Ø  Has a poor fitting artificial limb and is waiting for a new one

Ø  New limb should be ready in 2 months

Ø  His disability is listed as “complete”


Nov 19, 1917

Medical Report notes

Ø  Stump of left leg is well healed

Ø  Is able to wear his new artificial limb all day

Ø  There is pain and weakness in right leg

Ø  Patient is only able to walk about ¾ mile due to pain in right leg

Ø  Patient wears a Whitman Plate in right shoe for Flat Foot

Ø  Disability rated at 80%

Ø  Recommendation for discharge from CEF


Nov 26, 1917

To be treated as an Out-Patient of the North Toronto Orthopedic Hospital pending discharge from the CEF


Jan 21, 1918

Discharged from the CEF in Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued

Ø  War Service Badge Class “B” issued

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Kingston, Ontario

Following the end of the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Box 543 Gananoque, Ontario


Jan 22, 1955

Spencer Cummings died in Gananoque, Ontario and was buried in the Gananoque Cemetery



From the January 1955 issue of the Communiq
(the 21st Battalion’s post war newsletter)



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