PRIVATE VICTOR LIONEL SUMMERS
9TH AUGUST 1918 AGE 31
BURIED: ROSIERES COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, FRANCE
Virgil didn't say this precisely; he used the word 'attest' rather than 'caused', not that it makes much difference. Virgil's point was that many crimes attest to, are evidence of, the power not of gold itself but of the greed for gold. The sentiment is similar to the biblical words from Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the root of all evil".
If that was Virgil's point, what was the point of W de V Summers, Victor's cousin, who chose the inscription? It sounds very much as though W de V was one of the many people who held the socialist view that the war was the result of imperialist tensions caused by world capitalism: "What was responsible for these wars was the whole world system of capitalism with its competitive struggle for profits and its collection of competing armed states".
It's strange that W de V Summers, the de V representing the family name de Vere, who lived in Berkeley, California should have been his cousin's next of kin but then Victor Lionel's parentage is something of a mystery. Aged four in 1891 he was living with his grandparents, and aged 14 in 1901 he was a pupil at St Saviour's College, Ardingly in Sussex. When he enlisted in Watrous, Saskatchewan on 28 October 1916 he named his grandmother, Elizabeth Summers, as his next of kin. She died in 1923 and perhaps this was before the War Graves Commission sent out the request for inscriptions.
Victor Summers served with the 28th Battalion Canadian Infantry and was killed on 9 August 1918 when the battalion was ordered up from the reserve to go to the assistance of the 31st Battalion in their attack on the village of Rosieres on the second day of the Amiens offensive..