|Date of Birth||April 14, 1886|
|Place of Birth||Merrickville, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Father: Walter Cummings, Prescott P.O., Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Tailor|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 6, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||32|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 28, 1986|
|Age at Death||100|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Robert was the 5th child of 6 born to Walter Cummings and Mary Reid in Merrickville, Ontario. His siblings were Alfretta, Ernest, Florence, Gertrude and Charles. His parents were married in Kempville, Ontario in 1876. While his father was born in Ontario, Canada he is listed as Dutch heritage and his mother was born in Ireland. In 1891 the family can be found living in the town of Prescott, Ontario. His father’s occupation is listed as a cooper. By the 1901 census father Walter is listed as a widow and Robert is still just a boy living at home along with 3 of his siblings. Robert moved to Keewatin (Kenora area) sometime between 1911 and when he had his medical exam for the war service in the fall of 1917 as listed on his attestation papers.
Robert was called for service in Winnipeg, April 6 1918, and placed in the 1st Depot Battalion of Manitoba. He was later a Gunner with the 76th Battery of the Canadian Artillery.
He served in Canada and England. Robert Edward Cummings was discharged from service on October 19, 1919 in Toronto, Ontario. He returned to Keewatin to live, marrying Amy Jane Armstrong at the United Church in Keewatin on August 15, 1923. As they married later in life, he was 40 and Amy was 44, they didn’t have any children. Robert was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #13 in his home town of Keewatin.
Bob Cumming’s Tailor Shop was located in the adjoining building to the Allan Block on Wharf Street in Keewatin. In 1957 the Allen block, which was an adjoining building to Bob’s Tailor Shop, had the 2nd fire in the town that was deemed as a ‘suspicious fire’; Keewatin history-Five fires in 37 days. It caused 1 women to be taken to the local hospital. At this time Robert shared this adjoining building with Tony’s Shoe Repair Shop and 2 occupied suites on the top floor. The fire spread to their building. No one ended up being seriously injured in either building. Robert ran a successful business as a tailor, known for his fine work, and in later years still working out of his home. Quite a few of the local children referred to him as ‘Uncle Bob’.
Amy passed away at 73 years of age in 1952 and Robert lived to be 100 years old and passed away July 28, 1986. Both Robert and his wife, Amy, are buried in the local Lake of the Woods Cemetery, History Haven Block, Kenora, Ontario.
By Linda Pelletier