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Lieutenant Colonel John Robert Harvey


of Holmwood, Thorpe, Norfolk

Bookplate of Lieutenant Colonel John Robert Harvey 1861-1921 of Holmwood, Thorpe, Norfolk. Click for larger image.

Born: 31 July 1861 and died 1921
Son of : Colonel John Edmund Julius Harvey (1827-1869) and Octavia Lettice Stephens (1831-1911).
Brother of:
1. Ada Lacon Harvey (born in Newcastle around 1865? and alive after 1911).
2. Charles Stephen Harvey (born in Dublin around 1866? alive after 1881).
3. Mary Davinia Harvey (born in Jersey around 1868? and alive after 1911).
4. Geraldine Louise Harvey (born in St Helier around 1873?). Later spent her life at Eton.
5. Possibly others?

John married: 
1st: Nora Adams (18??-1889), second daughter of H Adams, of Canon Hill, Bray.
2nd: in 1890, Florence Parsons, daughter of F W Parsons, of Risley Hall, Derby.
John had issue:
1. Son
2. Daughter.
3. Daughter.

Lieut Col John Robert Harvey: An Overview

The information I have about Robert comes from the following sources:

1. His bookplate.
2. He is recorded in the book 'Portraits in Norfolk Houses' by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh (undated but published around 1928) as being the owner of a number of Harvey family portraits.
3. Information found on the internet as below.
4. Other information sent to me, as below.

JOHN ROBERT HARVEY, Lieutenant Colonel, was born 31 July 1861, eldest son of Colonel John Edmund Harvey, 41st Regiment, of Springfield, Taplow, Bucks, and Thorpe, Norfolk, and Octavia Lettice Stephens, daughter of the Reverend R Stephens.  He was educated at Rugby and at Trinity College, Cambridge, and served in the East Norfolk Militia, 16th Lancers and 5th Lancers; joined the 43rd Suffolk Hussars, as Captain, 15 November 1899.  He commanded the Suffolk Hussars and the 25th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa, and served also as Staff Officer for Prisoners of War (graded as Staff Captain), Lines of Communication, from 1900 to 1902.  He took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900; in the Transvaal, west of Pretoria, July to 29 November 1900; in Orange River Colony, May to 29 November 1900; in Cape Colony, south of Orange River, 1900; in the Transvaal, February to 31 May 1902; also during the operations in Cape Colony, December 1901 to February 1902 (Despatches [London Gazette, 17 June, 1902]; Queen's Medal with three clasps, and King's Medal with two clasps).  He was created a Companion of the Distingm'shed Service Order [London Gazette, 26 June, 1902]: "John Robert Harvey, Lieutenant Colonel, Imperial Yeomanry.  In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa".  The Insignia were presented by the King 24 October 1902.  He subsequently retired from the King's Own Norfolk Imperial Yeomanry.  He was a Justice of the Peace and was Mayor of Norwich in 1902-3.  In the European War he served with the 4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment in Gallipoli in 1915; became Brevet Colonel, 4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment.  He wrote 'Records of the Norfolk Yeomanry Cavalry, 1782 to 1908', 'Hunting in Norfolk' and 'Shannon and its Lakes'.  He was fond of hunting, polo, shooting, fishing and yachting.  He married, firstly, in 1888, Nora (died, 1889), second daughter of H Adams, of Canon Hill, Bray; secondly, in 1890, Florence, daughter of F W Parsons, of Risley Hall, Derby, and had one son and two daughters. DSO, QSA (3) CC OFS Trans (Capt), KSA (2) (Lt Col 43rd Coy IY), 1914-15 Star (Lt Col, BWM, Victory Medal (Bt Col 4/Norfolk Regt). 1911 Coronation, Territorial Decoration GV.  Spinks 1963 £35.  Lovell 1978 est £450.  By Rob Carman.

I was interested to read the comments of Rob Carman, from the USA, regarding Lieutenant Colonel John Robert Harvey, who hailed from Thorpe. He states a number of items which are incorrect regarding the Colonel.
He was commissioned, in to the Militia before joining the 16th Queen's Lancers, as a Ranker. He was commissioned after three years into the 5th Royal Irish Lancers. He later commanded a Squadron of the Suffolk Yeomanry and then the 25th Imperial Yeomanry. Commanded a Squadron of the Norfolk Yeomanry. Served with 1st Volunteer Battalion, Norfolks, before commanding the 4th Battalion, Norfolks. He was in Gallipoli for a lot longer than a few days. He was shipped back to the UK, following illness in December 1915. Having been out there from the August. He then commanded a Unit in France. His son, was decorated with the MC and Croix de Guerre, for his actions in the Royal Flying Corps. He was shot down and spent some considerable time in hospital, going on half pay in 1918. His Military Cross being presented to him, while in Hospital by King George V. To say that John Harvey had only " some measured success" is rather a slur on his being issued the Distinguished Service Order. He served in the Army until the age of 57.  From Don McLean.

Harvey was ill at battalion embarkation and joined his regiment there 10/9/1915. He went down with dysentery on 25/10/1915, and was invalided home on 4 December. He served as a Prisoner of War Camp Commandant in France from 10/4/1916, and as a Staff-Lieutenant 29/5-26/11/1917.  From Peter Hodgkinson

John is buried at Thorpe Cemetery on Yarmouth Road in Norfolk.  The grave stone is very unusual consisting of a large cross with a sword and belt carved down the centre, the grave also mentions John Edmund Harvey and is quite overgrown.  Found by Ray White.


There is a printed note regarding a Sports Day held in France, 25 August.  47th (London) Division, Maj Gen CSL Barter.  There is listed amoung the stewards Lt Col J Harvey, 8th Battalion.  This may be the same John Harvey.


If anyone can add more information about the above I would be very pleased to hear from you.

If you know any more please contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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