POSTGATE Ernest Albert

Ernest Albert POSTGATE 1916 – 1944

7383560 Private Ernest Albert Postgate, Royal Army Medical Corps died 17 March 1944, aged 27.  He is buried at Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy [1] and commemorated on West Auckland War Memorial and the Church Lads Brigade Memorial, St. Helen’s Church, St. Helen’s Auckland, Bishop Auckland.

Family Details

Ernest Albert Postgate was born 17 June 1916 [2], the son of Albert and Mary Jane Postgate.[3] In 1911, the Postgate family lived at 11 Louisa Terrace, St. Helen where Albert worked as a colliery banksman.  There were 3 children Edith, Clara and Lena.[4] Albert died in July 1939  when living at the Bungalow, Hestobel Gardens, Cockton Hill, Bishop Auckland.[5] His wife Mary Jane Postgate, daughter Marion,[6] son Ernest and 3 others [who’s records are “officially closed”, possibly 3 other children] lived at 29 Hestobel Gardens.  Ernest worked as a “moulder, sanitary ware”, probably Shaw & Knight’s works at Tindale Crescent.

Service Details

The service details of Private Ernest Albert Postgate has not been researched.

3 September 1943:  The Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side.  Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance but by the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east.  Initial attempts to breach the western end of the line were unsuccessful.  Operations in January 1944 landed troops behind the German lines at Anzio but defences were well organised and a breakthrough was not actually achieved until May.[7]

The Battle of Anzio 22 January – 4 June 1944:

29 February:  The 3rd major German offensive was launched at Anzio failed to dislodge the Allies, being called off on the 3 March.  Motor torpedo boat attacks were a feature of the enemy’s activity occurring on 1, 3, 9, 14, 19, 22 and 29 March but they caused little damage, brief combat being exchanged 19 March.  24 March there was heavy artillery and guided bomb attacks.[8]  Private Ernest Postgate RAMC died 17 March 1944 when at first glance it seems to be a quiet period.  No detail of the circumstances surrounding his death are offered due to lack of research.

Burial [9]

7383560 Private Ernest Albert Postgate is buried at grave reference IV.F.12, Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy.  There are 2,316 Commonwealth burials.  His headstone bears the following epitaph:

In God’s Gracious Keeping


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] 1939 England & Wales Register & England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Vol.10a p.374 1916Q3 Auckland

[3] CWGC

[4] 1911 Census

[5] England & Wales National Probate Calendar [Index of Wills & Administrations] 1858-1995

[6] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.492 1912Q3 Auckland & 1939 England & Wales Register, details were collected September 1939

[7] CWGC


[9] CWGC