HARVEY Frank Howard

On The Roll of Honour

Frank was born in Badwell Ash on 21st May 1889. His parents were Henry and Henrietta Harvey.

1891 Census: Age 1: He lived at Street Farm with his father, Henry, aged 44 who was a farmer and born in Langham; his mother Henrietta, aged 44 from Herne Bay, Kent; his oldest sister Mabel, aged 10, born in Badwell Ash; brother Victor, aged 8, born in Walsham le Willows; and Helen, aged 4, born in Badwell Ash. They also had a General Domestic Servant, Elizabeth Leggett from Wakefield, Yorkshire.

1901 Census: By this time only 4 people occupied Street Farm; Frank, aged 11; his mother and father, both aged 54 and Victor, now aged 18.

1911 Census: Frank, now aged 21 was living in Pastry, Kent as a boarder in the house of Percy Wanstall, a Life Insurance Agent. Frank was a teacher, an Assistant Schoolmaster, employed by Kent Education Committee.

Military History: Frank enlisted into the army on 10th August 1914 in 2nd Suffolk Regiment as a Private, Regimental No. 5693 and subsequently as an acting Sergeant Regimental no. 33608 in the 16th Lancers. He was discharged on 28th July 1917 as a result of wounds received. During the war he won 4 medals: The Star, War, Victory and Silver War Badge. (Suffolk Regimental Museum, Bury St. Edmunds)

Post War: In 1920 he married Constance Helena Clarke who was born in Gilmorton, Leicestershire on 25 August 1890, at Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

Their first son, Gerald was born in 1923 but died in the same year.

Their second son, Peter Geoffrey Harold, was born in 1924 and lived until 2011 when he died on 4th October in Hambledon, Kent.

In 1950 Frank died in Bedford in March, aged 61. Twenty seven years later, Constance died – also in Bedford.

Henry Harvey (father) died on 24th Dec 1917, probate 13th March 1918, left £4,517 15s 7d the equivalent of £219,088 today, went to Henrietta, his mother, Victor Harvey, his brother and Spencer Symonds of Shakerland Hall.

Frank’s granddaughter, Amanda, now living in California, USA, has sent some interesting and warm comments about her grandfather. He died 20 years before Amanda was born, but recollections of Frank came from her father, Peter, and have been passed on through the family. We are grateful to Amanda for these as they give us an idea of Frank, the person, and the impact on him of fighting in the war.

My grandfather, Frank,”…..”grew up in Badwell Ash at Street Farm and went on to fight in WW1, had 4 children and came a teacher in St Neots, Beds.”

I believe the Great War affected him in many different ways. For example the family never had any money. My grandmother (Constance – see above) was a schoolteacher and pretty much raised the children single handedly. My Dad remembers Frank as a lovely warm character who would sneak him cakes whenever Grandma sent Dad to the shed for being naughty! As a schoolteacher he used to send his pupils out to place bets! but he also set up a football team and those boys who signed up would be given free milk”…..”How deprived these kids were”.

“I think Dad told me that Frank ‘came from money’ and he was always trying to relive those days, hence the gambling. There are also tales of him poaching with his 2 greyhounds and any number of rabbits/pheasants stuffed under his long coat. The doctors told him to lay off alcohol and spicy food but he never did. Dad thinks he had a stroke while riding his motor bike which he always drove too fast. He was 60 when he died”………”on the first day of WW2 he tried to enlist but was turned away because he was too old, and let’s not forget he was invalided out of the last war (WW1)”…….”with 21st Century insight, I think he must have enjoyed the camaraderie of Army life, and maybe after the ‘high’ of the war, didn’t adjust too well to civilian life.”

This was true of many ex-soldiers as is illustrated by the next sentence written by Amanda.

He drank and gambled too much but surely either as a coping mechanism or after seeing such carnage thought ‘well I’m going to live my life to the full’.” “My Dad always told me he was the kindest person. I remember too he applied to the Canadian Mounties but was turned down because he was too short.”

Amanda also makes reference to Frank’s wife, Constance. “Frank met his wife, Constance Clarke then he returned from battle and she nursed his wounds”….” Frank’s 3 children also served in WW2.”

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