b. 24/08/1891 Peckham, London. d. 15/08/1940 Redhill, Surrey.
Jack Harvey (1891-1940) was born on 24th August 1891 in Peckham, London. In November 1914, he enlisted as a Private in the London Regiment (Camberwell). He served on the Western Front and saw action at most of the major battles at Ypres, The Somme, and Passchendaele. It was in the latter stages of the war that Jack would perform the action which would lead to the award of the Victoria Cross.
On 2nd September 1918 north of Peronne, France, when the advance of his company was held up by machine gun fire, Private Harvey dashed forward a distance of 50 yards alone, through the English barrage and in the face of heavy enemy fire. He rushed a machine gun post, shooting two of the team and bayoneting another. He then destroyed the gun and continued his way along the enemy trench. He single-handedly rushed an enemy dugout which contained 37 Germans and compelled them to surrender. These acts of gallantry saved the company heavy casualties and materially assisted in the success of the operation.
He was gazetted for the VC on 12th November 1918, and attended his investiture at Buckingham Palace on 8th March 1919 where he was presented with his VC by King George V. Also at his investiture was another Camberwell native, George Cartwright VC.
Jack was promoted to Corporal following his VC action and was demobbed in 1919. He returned to civilan life, and died at the tragically young age of 48 on 15th August 1940 in Redhill, Surrey. He was buried in Redhill Cemetery with full military honours. His medals including VC, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20, and Victory Medal 1914-19 were purchased privately in 2001 by Michael Ashcroft and are displayed in the Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM
BURIAL PLACE: REDSTONE CEMETERY, REDHILL, SURREY. SECTION C, GRAVE 2359
Jack Harvey's medals on the Lord Ashcroft Collection website
(his medals were not on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in Aug 2014)
Southwark, London (Richard Pursehouse)