Son of Henry (Harry) Summers ( a veteran of the Great War 228218 – 198th Bn.) and Alice M. Barlow, of Chatham, Ontario, Canada. The brother of Lieut. Douglas S and Murray B. Keith enlisted 23/05/1943 at the age of 21 as soon as he left school. One of Chatham’s outstanding young men, clever, ambitious and undoubtedly a brilliant future awaited him. CDN 13/12/44.
Keith spent two weeks training in London, then two months at No. 12 BTC in Chatham followed by two months at Ipperwash before leaving for England. He proceeded to Italy with the RCR seven months from his enlistment. Keith was one of four sons of Dr. and Mrs Barlow in service during the war, Lieut. Douglas Barlow (MID) for his courageous work with the Tank Corps who was wounded. Sgt. Murray Barlow of the RCAF who was recovering from injuries some month before Keith’s death and Blake the youngest and serving with the RCAF who was honourably discharged from the RCAF and was attending CCI waiting for a call from the army.
Cpl Barlow was wounded early in September of 1943 in Italy, a shell burst damaged his ear drum, he made a speedy recovery from that and was expecting to go on an NCO course. However his regiment was ordered back into the line immediately after he left the hospital in England.
Dr. Barlow, accompanied by son Blake were in Detroit, Michigan when the letter arrived announcing the death of Keith. The doctor had been taking an advanced course in medicine. Father and son began the drive back to Chatham only to be stopped by snowdrifts and had to complete the journey by train.
Age: 21, KIA – Date of Death: 05/12/1944, in Italy during “Operation Chuckle” Dec. 3rd – 7th of December. During the first three days of Operation Chuckle, the two Canadian divisions had suffered 211 casualties evenly divided between 3rd and 12th Bde. A similar number of men had been evacuated as non-battle casualties.
Son of Henry Summers ( a veteran of the Great War 228218 – 198th Bn.) and Alice M. Barlow, of Chatham, Ontario, Canada.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead, Grave/Memorial Reference: II. G. 5.
Cemetery: RAVENNA WAR CEMETERY. Index of Overseas Deaths.