Rank, service number and regiment
Private 20771 Somerset Light Infantry & 19461 5th Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment
Lavers Row, K.E. This row of cottages was demolished in the mid 20th century. In living memory the cottages used to flood regularly. They once stood on the right-hand side of the Coombe Lane drove, backing onto the ditch, facing south, with the gable-end facing onto Thorney Road. The photo above shows their location. There is now a stable in the approximate location of the cottages.
Date of death
4 October 1917
Age of death
Circumstances of death
In early October 1917 the 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment sustained heavy casualties trying to wrest Poelcapelle from enemy control in the horrific closing phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. This battle is known as Passchendaele. It was infamous not only for the scale of casualties but also atrocious, muddy battlefield conditions.
Decimus’s body was never recovered from the deep mud, along with many others. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Panel 92.
Date of birth & full name
21 June 1896. EDWARD DECIMUS GUMMER
William Gummer and Martha Ann Gummer (nee Eves) of K.E. William was a master carpenter.
Spouse & children
Dorcas Rhoda Gummer (nee Tribley). They married in 1917. No children.
British War Medal and Victory medal.
Decimus Gummer was the 10th child of William and Martha Gummer. The name Decimus means “ten” in Latin. The census of 1901, see image below, records the names of eight of their children. Decimus is shown as Edward D, 4 years old at the time. Bessie, aged 17 years, is a Glove Machinist, Albert, 15 years is a Carpenter (Journey Man).
Decimus and Dorcas lived in Lavers Row. After the death of Decimus, Dorcas remarried in 1938 to Frank Quantock. She died on 10 March 1963.
The map below dates from 1903 and shows the location of the cottages of Lavers Row, marked in red.