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Two names to be added to Sunny Brae War Memorial

Private Marshall Ross Cumming, left, and Private John William Cumming, right.
Private Marshall Ross Cumming, left, and Private John William Cumming, right. - Contributed

By Clyde Macdonald

There will be a Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Sunny Brae War Memorial. 

Newly-selected Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston will be the guest speaker for the event. Lunch will follow the event at the IOOF Hall in Sunny Brae. 

During the ceremony, there will be two names of First World War veterans added to the memorial, bringing the total to 51 names - two more than that of the Second World War veterans, which still stands at 49. 

These new additions bring the grand total to 100 names on the memorial. 

The newest names that are being added to the memorial are two brothers who served their country valiantly in the First World War named John William Cumming and Marshall Ross Cumming. Both were residents of Lower Caledonia. 

John William Cumming

John William Cumming, known as John Willie or Jack, was born on Aug. 5, 1890 at Lower Caledonia, Guysborough County, a son of John Alexander Cumming and Isabell Barkley MacQuarrie. When he was 27 years of age and a lumberman, he enlisted in Truro on April 10, 1917 to participate in the First World War. He served approximately two years in England with the Canadian Forestry Corps. Shortly after the war, he moved to the state of Montana where he worked as a miner in the silver mines. In 1948, he fractured his spine and became a paraplegic. He remained unmarried during his lifetime and was 68 years of age when he died in Helena, Montana in 1958. 

Marshall Ross Cumming

Marshall Ross Cumming was born in Lower Caledonia, Guysborough County on Oct. 7, 1897 and was the son of John Alexander Cumming and Isabell Barclay MacQuarrie. Marshall was a brakeman on Canadian government railways and, at 20 years of age, he enlisted at Aldershot, Nova Scotia on May 28, 1918 to participate in the First World War. He served in Bramshott, England with the 17th reserve battalion until May 1919 and then served in France with the Canadian war graves detachment until July 9, 1919. 

After the war, Marshall worked in lumber camps in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He later worked at the Halifax shipyards as an iron worker. In 1934, he married Catherine Cantelo of P.E.I. and they had one child, Gloria Anne Cumming. He was 79 years of age when he died at his home in Bible Hill in 1976.  

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