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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Joseph Cummings U.s. 105th Infantry

Guest joec

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I am trying to fill a "gap" in my Father's World War I timeline. Have exhausted all the sources in the U.S. (as far as I know). Maybe could get some help in this forum.

Joseph Charles Cummings (SN 1203186), 27th U.S. Division, 53rd Infantry Brigade, 105th Infantry, Machine Gun Company, Private First Class.

He was wounded via a Mustard Gas Shell 26Sep1918 and listed as a "casualty" 27Sep-16Dec1918. Morning Reports show on 28Sep he is listed as missing since 26 Sep1918 and then a 5Oct1918 changes it from missing to absent in Hosp 3Oct1918. I have a photo of him in his "hospital blues" along with a Navy Soldier (Jake Carey) which is an unmailed post card and is dated "Thanksgiving Day, 1918". The card has imprinted "The Studios, 490, Strand, W.O.2". My Mother said it was taken in London and is so marked on the card. On a "Report of Change" he is listed as "assigned to Co. Dec 16 1918.

From some history on the 27th Division: Sept 26-Oct 21, FA Brig and 102nd Am Tn attached to the 33d Div, participate in the Meuse-Argonne Operation. Sept 27, Div, 53d Inf Brig leading attacks to capture the outlying defenses of the Hindenburg line......... Another history notes the 27th Division as part of the 2nd Corps (U.S.) 4th British Army, the division was in action near Boney, Sept 24th to Oct 1st.

The "gap" I am trying to fill is from 26Sep1918 when he was wounded to 15Dec1918 when he returned to his unit. Very sure he was in an English hospital for "rehabilitation" since his brother remembers the Sister writing letters to his Mother to update her on the recovery progress. Brother also mentions that the Sister married someone in Calgary, Canada and visited them several times in the U.S.

Would like to find out the path from the trenches to the Hospital and how he got there along with the Hospital he was in while in London. Maybe from that I can get more info on the extent of his injury and more specific dates. The family never kept the letters from the Sister.

Thanks for any help and/or suggestions you can provide.

Joe Cummings

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There were AEF Hospitals in England at Plymouth,Portsmouth and Hursley Park near Winchester. (The latter was also a US Base Camp during WW2 and also housed the Spitfire design team after they were driven out from Southampton by German bombing)

Your father might have been initially in hospital at anyone of the hospitals but at sometime during his recovery probably visited/ stayed at the American YMCA Rest Centre which was located in The Strand.This establishment was named Eagle Hut but in reality was comprised of 10 huts. It's canteen could cater for 3000 visitors per day.Sleeping accomodation was also offered.It was said to be the biggest AEF Recreational Centre.

Your father's postcard gives a postal area of WO 2 which I feel should read as WC 2,ie The Strand postal area before the modern Postal Codes were introduced.In all probability your father passed through the American YMCA Rest Centre in The Strand known as the Eagle Hut.

It is interesting to note that recreational responsibility at the hospitals was undertaken by the American Red Cross Society in their own hospitals and by the American YMCA in US Government hospitals.

I hope this information is of some help.


Frank East

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