Images courtesy of Steve
Image from 24th January 1945 Evening Star newspaper.
Registered at birth ERNEST JOHN CHAPMAN
Born: 14th October 1921, 15, Arthur Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.
Died: 8th September 1944; age: 22; Died of Wounds.
Residence: 274, Clapgate Lane, Ipswich.
Occupation: Shop Assistant.
Rank: Bombardier; Service Number: 887642.
Regiment: Royal Artillery, 7 Mountain Regiment.
Body exhumed, identified by cross on grave and Army Form W.3372, before re-burial on the 10th April 1945.
Ernest was raised in a large family with eleven siblings, two older, nine younger.
Mother: Annie Elizabeth Laura Chapman (nee Ling), born November 1898, Leiston, Suffolk.
Father: John Walter Summers, born 1895, Ipswich – died 1937, Ipswich.
John’s 18 year old brother ERNEST EDWARD SUMMERS, of 73, Rope Walk, Ipswich, lost his life during the First World War. Ernest was ranked a Private for the Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion. He was Killed in Action on the 29th October 1915, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.
On the 28th March 1941, at Loughborough, Leicestershire, Ernest married Patricia Rose Whitby, born February 1920, Tendring, Essex – daughter of Robert Charles Whitby and Elizabeth Louise Kate Whitby (nee Sodeau), of 49, Lacey Street, Ipswich.
They had 1 son:
Brian Jeffrey Summers, born 1941, Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Patricia’s 22 year old brother, CYRIL JOHN WHITBY, of 1, Newton Road, Ipswich, lost his life during the Second World War. Cyril was ranked a Leading Aircraftman, for the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 355 Squadron. He died from illness on the 23rd December 1945, at the Baragwanath Military Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa. He was laid to rest at Westpark Cemetery, South Africa.
Royal Artillery, 7th Mountain Regiment was formed and first served in North Africa, then onto fight in the high Italian mountain ranges, which formed the German defensive lines, such as the Gustav Line and the battles at Monte Cassino. As the Allies pushed north past Rome onto the Gothic Line high into the Mountains and onto the borders, the battalion gave crucial fire support using specially adapted lightweight guns. The Regiment used U.S.A. made 75mm Pack Howitzers and U.K. 3.7inch Howitzers, either pulled by Jeep or pack horse/donkeys, depending on the terrain. In November 1945 the Regiment was disbanded.