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Remembered Today:

Lt. Robert Parsons Harvey


rob carman
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Good evening,

I am interested in Flt. Commander Robert Parsons Harvey, M.C. 5th Lancers attached to the RFC.

Harvey – then a Lt - was in 11 Squadron and on 22nd Septemeber 1916 he was Frederick Libby’s pilot when Libby shot down his 8th enemy plane. A contact of mine says he appears “in the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, Recommendations and Awards Book…. for receiving the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre. King George V presented his MC while Harvey was in a hospital in the UK. He spent 6 weeks in hospital in France after a shell struck his aircraft at 10,000 ft. He was wounded in the back and his observer blown out. During his stay in hospital he was visited by General Allenby, Colonel of 5th Lancers.”

I am not sure if this mean he was wounded twice ore only once and the events are juxtaposed.

Can anybody tell me anything further about Robert Harvey? I cannot find his MC details in the London Gazette. I am browzing Libby's autobiography, "Horse Don't Fly" as it has no index. So far I've drawn a blank.

What does “LG” mean?

Are the 5th Lancers and the 5th Royal Irish Lancers one and the same?

Cheers,

Rob Carman.

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London Gazette 14-11-1916

Awarded Military Cross:

Lt. Robert Parsons Harvey, 5th Lrs. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He attacked four hostile machines with great courage and skill, his observer shooting one of them down. He has on many previous occasions done very fine work.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

At this time of the war the delay to Gazette of MCs was about 2 months, so that fits about perfectly...

Also London Gazette 26-11-1919

Decorations conferred by

THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC

Croix de Guerre

Lieutenant Robert Parsons Harvey, M.C., 5th Lancers (attached Royal Air Force).

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

Steve.

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Also LG (London Gazette) 22-12-1916

ROYAL FLYING CORPS.

Mil. Wing.—The undermentioned appts. are made: —

Flight Comdrs. From Flying Officers. And to be temp. Capts. whilst so empld.:—

5th Dec. 1916.

2nd Lt. R. P. Harvey, M.C., 5th Lrs.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

And the 5th Lancers / 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers were indeed one and the same.

http://www.1914-1918.net/CAVALRY/lancers.htm

Steve.

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Rob

Here's a little more information on your man:

On 20 October 1916, Lt R P Harvey was flying FE 2b 7674 of No 11 Sqn RFC, with Lt George Keith Welsford (25 years old and from Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, and formerly Royal Engineers) as his observer, on a photographic reconnaissance mission when they were engaged by enemy aeroplanes over Achicourt. Lt Welsford fell to his death during the combat, and 7674 crashed on the Allied side of the Lines. Lt Harvey was injured in the action.

A victory was credited to Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke of Jasta 2; it was Boelcke's 36th victory of the 40 that he was credited with before his death in an accident on 28 October 1916.

I hope this is useful.

Gareth

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So did Harvey lose two observers falling out during combat - Welsford and the one mentioned in Rob's first post? Or was this the same incident and the Rob's details are incorrect?

A particularly terrifying way to die I would have thought.

Adrian

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Adrian

Going by the printed information, I'd suggest that only one observer was thrown from an aeroplane flown by Lt Harvey, but the details may have become confused as the story was passed around.

As you say, it would have been a terrible way to go.

Regards

Gareth

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11 Sqn where based at that time at Izel le Hameau and for the record this is the CWGC entry for Lt Welsford

Name: WELSFORD, GEORGE KEITH

Initials: G K

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 11th Sqdn.

Age: 25

Date of Death: 20/10/1916

Additional information: Son of Ethel Welsford, of "Nethersea," Marine Drive, Paignton, Devon, and the late James Hughes Welsford, of Liverpool and London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Cemetery: ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIAL

All The Best

Chris

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Gentlemen,

Thank you for your replies. Clearly I need to hone my LG skills!

I have checked with my 5th Lancers-contact. There was only one observer. As you have remarked, what a way to go.

Also, the date of Libby's 8th victory was 10 October 1916 - I showed the date of his 7th.

Cheers,

Rob Carman.

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