Company Serjeant Major 8827 2nd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment
Died 8 May 1916, aged 28
Remembered on the Ash War Memorial
Buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, where his gravestone is inscribed
“Ever remembered by his loving wife and sons. Thy will be done”.
Remembered on the Memorial to the Men of Ash Vale in St Mary’s Church
David Sumner was baptised at St Peter’s Church Ash 11 September 1887, the son of William and Caroline. He was a pupil at Ash Common School. The censuses record that in 1891 his father was a beer house keeper at the Angler’s Rest, and in 1901 David was an office boy. In 1911 David was a Corporal in the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and was stationed at Dover Castle.
The Surrey Advertiser 5 February 1916 reported “Distinction for former Ash boy”. When all his company officers were killed or wounded he took command of his company and held the position until the next morning when officers were sent up to take over.
The Surrey Advertiser 20 May 1916 reported that David Sumner had been killed in action whilst superintending the erection of barbed wire entanglements. He was the son of the late Mr William and Mrs Sumner of the Angler’s Rest, and left a widow and 2 [sons] living at Dover. David Sumner went out with the original BEF in 1914 and was wounded after a month. He returned in February 1915. He had 2 brothers serving: Company Sgt Major William Sumner, 5th Worcestershire Regt. and Pte James Sumner 1st Royal Berkshires who had been wounded and been a POW since Aug 23rd at Paderborn Westfalen. He later came home a cripple to live with his sister Mrs Gray in College Road.
David’s medals card records that he went to France 12 August 1914, and was awarded the 1914 Star. The citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal was “For conspicuous gallantry and ability in attack. He led forward his company after all the other officers had become casualties and organised the defence of the line reached.”