June 16 – Edward George Harvey, infantry and RFC

Derry officer served in Boer War, India and the RFC in WW1

The memorial to Edward Harvey bears the crests of the Wilshire Regiment and the RFC

In St Columb’s C of I Cathedral in Londonderry there is this distinctive memorial to Captain Edward George Harvey of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment and the Royal Flying Corps.

Captain Harvey was only eighteen when he enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He served with them in operations in the Transvaal South Africa, receiving the Queen’s Medal with two clasps, and subsequently as a sergeant in India, where he obtained his commission in the Wiltshire Regiment in 1905.

He was, in 1913, seconded for service with the Royal Flying Corps, in which he was, in 1914, promoted flight commander, and subsequently captain in his regiment, to which he returned at the end of that year, and joined its 1st Battalion at the Front in February 1915. He was at the head of his company leading an attack on the third line of German trenches near Hooge on June 16, 1915, when he was mortally wounded.

A brother, William Francis Harvey, served in the Great War with the Canadian forces, but died afterwards at Victoria, British Columbia, on March 25, 1922, aged 28.
Edward was the eldest son of James George Morewood and Nora Elizabeth (nee Rogan, who died on October 16, 1941, aged 83) Harvey, Creglorne, Londonderry. Brother of Mr James M. Harvey, Londonderry. Nephew of the Reverend Canon John S. and Bessie McClintock, 8, Crawford Square, Londonderry.

At the sitting of Lifford Quarter Sessions Court, held on Tuesday, June 22, 1915, his Honour Judge Cooke, K.C., said it was only fitting that he should express deep sympathy with Mr J. G. M. Harvey on the death in Flanders of his son, Edward George Harvey, announced in the papers that morning. The deceased officer’s father was constantly represented in that court, and although resident in the city of Derry, was intimately connected with the county of Donegal as a grand juror.

Mr J. G. M. Harvey, who was the youngest son of Captain Harvey, R.N., The Warren, Culdaff, belonged to an old and highly esteemed Donegal family. He was a cousin of John Harvey, of Malin Hall, and the family were granted estates and settled in the Malin district about the year 1618. J. G. M. Harvey was directly descended from John Harvey, who was Chamberlain of Derry, and who commanded a company of volunteers during the Siege of 1689.

J. G. M. Harvey founded an estate business in Londonderry, and was one of the leading estate agents in Ulster, managing large numbers of extensive properties in Donegal, Londonderry, and Tyrone. He was actively involved in Unionist politics, taking a prominent part in election campaigns in Londonderry from the time of the candidature of Sir John Ross, Ireland’s last Lord Chancellor. His services, however, were more freely given as an organiser than as a speaker, for he preferred to do his work in a quiet way. During most of that period he was a member of the Londonderry Unionist Council, and for over twenty years a member of the Ulster Unionist Council, where his views and advice were greatly valued.

J. G. M. Harvey married Nora Elizabeth Rogan, a daughter of Dr William Rogan, M.D., resident medical superintendent of Londonderry and Donegal Asylum, on August 24, 1875. He was a devoted member of St Columb’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, where he served on the select vestry for many years. He was also for a long period a member of the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Council. He liberally gave to charities, but in an unostentatious manner, so that the public had little knowledge of the extent of his philanthropy.

J. G. M. Harvey, who was the last survivor of a family of three sons and four daughters, died, in his eighty-second year, at his residence, Creglorne, Londonderry, on Sunday, October 14, 1934.

The name of Captain Edward George Harvey was read out during a memorial service held in St Columb’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, August 1, 1915, to commemorate the officers and men of the city of Derry, who had died during the first year of the Great War. His name was also among a list of Great War dead, associated with Foyle College, Londonderry, read aloud during that College’s annual prize giving ceremony, held on Thursday, December 19, 1918.


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