Private 13802 David Summers

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Friday, 6th August 1915, age 39.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Llanelli, Carmathen, Resident: Unknown.

First landed Balkans, 4th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/686141/

Genealogical Data

Birth of David Summers registered December quarter 1875 at Dudley.
Mariage of David Summers and Isabella Purcell registered June quarter 1900 at Dudley.

1901 Census
12 Wades Passage, Tipton.
Lodging with Samuel Summers (69, Blind, Widower, born Dudley) were his son David (24, Chainworker, born Tipton) and David's wife Isabella (25, born Smethwick) and their 2 children: Matilda (1, born Tipton) and William (3 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
19 Old Street, Kates Hill, Dudley.
Lodging with Joseph and Matilda Grosvenor was Isabella Summers (36, sister-in-law, married, born Dudley).
There is no sign of her husband David Summers, or of the two children from the 1901 Census. The youngest child William could possibly have died in 1901, and the only sign of a Matilda Summers in 1911 is Matilda Summers, stated age 8, place of birth unknown, an inmate at the Girl's Industrial School, Wissage, Lichfield.

Personal Data

Medal Index Card says that Mr D. Summers applied for his father's medals on 16th February 1922, and gave his address as Mrs I. Summers, C/O Mr J Powell, Suckley Court, Worcestershire, where she was presumably an employee.

Action resulting in his death

Battle for Krithia Vineyard, 6th August 1915.
The 4th Worcesters were in action at Cape Helles in May 1915, but were withdrawn for a few days in a rest camp on Lemnos. They arrived back at 'W' Beach after dark on 28th July and moved to Gully Brach in preparation for action on 6th August. This was to be a subsidiary attack to the main attack from the Anzac area on the mountain of Sari Bair.

The 4th Worcesters, 800 strong, left the beach at 4.00am and moved into the assembly trenches. The Battle for Krithia Vineyard commenced at 2.20pm when the British guns started to fire, and the Turks immediately replied with shrapnel and high-explosive shells bursting all along the trenches.

In a letter written that day Ben Tromans of Cradley Heath described the scene as: "..it was not fit for a fly to get out of the trenches, for the shot and shells were flying everywhere, knocking the sand bags of the top of the trenches which we had to mount to get at the Turks".

At 3.50pm the battalion moved forward in four waves and as they crested a low rise they were cut down and what few men that reached the trenches were overcome by superior numbers of Turks in hand-to-hand fighting.

The casualties of the 4th Worcesters were given in the Regimental History as 16 Officers and 752 NCOs and Men wounded, killed or missing; this from an attacking force of approximately 800 men. During the night of 6th/7th August, a search of no-mans land brought in 300 wounded men. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" records that 359 Other Ranks were killed on 6th August, and many more would die from their wounds in subsequent days.

6 Tipton men were killed in action on that day: William Cooper, Eli Edwards, John Jackson, John Jarvis, Isaac Pagett, and David Summers, none have a known grave and all are commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

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