Danny was born in POONA, India in August 1933, the youngest of 5 children of John and Hermione.

SSgt D Cummings
SSgt D Cummings

Unfortunately, his Mother passed away when he was 4 and 3 years later Danny and his two older brothers Edward & John were brought back to Co. Durham, his father’s home county, leaving his two Sisters, Joyce & Norma in a Convent in India. Danny started school in Chester-le-street for a short time before going to a Boarding School; there he was to meet someone who became a friend for life.

I will pause here and insert an appreciation by this friend:

‘Danny Cummings and I, Jim Bowman first met at a Boarding School at Royston in Hertfordshire when he was 6 years old and I was 7. We soon got to know each other and became good friends and remained good friends right to the end. At the age of nine, we had to leave Royston and had to go to a Military School in Twickenham. I of course left one year before Danny to pave the way so to say!

We had a very hard time at Twickenham, but we won through and made it fun. In 1944 our school was bombed and was hit by one of Hitler’s V1 rockets, so we were evacuated to Wales where we lost contact for a year.

However, in 1945 at the end of the war we all came together again when we moved back to England to Pontefract, next door to the Wilkinson’s Liquorish factory and each day at 1700hrs we waited for the girls to leave the factory knowing that they’d be bringing boxes of liquorice allsorts for us, Danny was usually at the front after punching his way through!

‘ At the end of 1945 the school at Twickenham having been repaired and partially rebuilt we were able to move back in. In 1946 I was pushed into the Army as I was almost 15 and Danny followed two years later in 1948. Unfortunately I, with our regiment, the 4th, Queen’s Own Hussars was already in Malaya so Danny was sent to Catterick to await a vacancy on the next troopship which happened to be in 1949 so we met up again.

Even though we were on active service, we both enjoyed the three and a half years in Malaya and were sorry when we had to leave. However we were homeward bound, and on December 15th 1951, we docked at Southampton and were posted to Tidworth where we remained for a year.

The band was part of the Queen’s Coronation Parade, and after a long strenuous march where the rain was continuous, we were absolutely soaked.

In 1953 we were posted to Hohne in Germany where we remained for nine years. In 1961 our time in Hohne was to end, the Regiment was posted to Aden and the band to Folkestone where we had a very enjoyable time, but as the saying goes “All good things come to an end”.

‘In 1962 we were once again bound for the Far East Malaya picking the regiment up from Aden on the way. ‘In 1964 we left Malaya and returned to the UK, only to be posted back to Germany, Wolfenbuttel, which turned out to be quite a pleasant posting, enjoyed by all. In 1966 we were once again on the move, to the UK, Bovington in fact where we remained until 1970 and we both agreed it was good to be able to spend so long in England.

Now we were bound for Paderborn, where we both remained until our retirement from the army in 1976 but always kept in touch.

We both played with various bands in the Paderborn area and had some great times. Danny remained here in Paderborn until May 2009. ’

I continue:

On the return of the Regiment from Malaysia to Germany Danny met and married Sigrid, they were soon blessed with a baby girl whom they named Rita Ingrid. She was Daddy’s girl, the apple of his eye and was until the end.

Danny retired from the Army in 1976 and settled in Germany in the Sennelager area, unfortunately, his marriage failed in 1977 but Danny and Sigrid remained friends. Danny’s daughter Rita and his Granddaughter Chantee now live in the USA.

In early 1986 Danny was reunited with his elder sister Joyce and her husband Victor and in the summer of that year, he met his Niece Jenny and her family. The connection between Uncle & Niece was so strong it led to Danny spending every summer holiday with Jenny and her family, giving him the joy of knowing he had an extended family who loved and cared for him.

Danny’s eldest sister, Joyce, Jenny’s mother, passed away in 2004. Danny never ever got to be reunited with his other sister Norma.

Danny had intended to come and settle permanently in the UK with his Niece at the end of 2009 but unfortunately in May’09 on the way for a visit he suffered a slight stroke on the flight. Following a medical examination, it was discovered that Danny had further complications with his health and was in need of 24-hour care.

A care home was found and Danny became a resident of “Whitchurch Residential Lodge”, he soon became a firm favorite of the staff mainly for his sense of humour and received all the love and care that he needed, his niece Jenny visited him daily until the end.

Danny passed away on the 20th of April 2010 after lapsing into a coma from which he did not recover.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  3. Malaya 1948-51