Ipswich: Tree could be planted at cenotaph in tribute to First World War hero, Private Samuel Harvey
Nearly a century has passed since Ipswich soldier Private Samuel Harvey risked his life by running across open ground during the Battle of Loos to fetch grenades for his under-fire comrades.
But a group of campaigners who have raised funds to properly honour his gallantry are adamant today that the Victoria Cross recipient’s actions on the battlefield in September 1915 will never be forgotten – as they laid out plans for a fitting tribute.
The fundraising group, from Park View Care Home, were joined by representatives from Sprites Primary School, which raised £690 for the cause, supporters of the campaign and one of Pte Harvey’s relatives last week for a meeting to discuss a memorial.
The group’s initial aim was to raise enough cash for a bench or urn for his grave, but after raising nearly £800, it is hoped now that a tree could be planted in his memory.
Mandy Dennington, the care home’s activities coordinator, said: “We would like a tree in Christchurch Park, near the cenotaph, or near his grave. It was also felt that they would like to acknowledge the school as well so they would like a tree there as well.
“They are the future, they will keep the memory of Samuel alive.”
Pte Harvey was born in Nottingham but moved to Ipswich at a young age.
During the Battle of Loos, while fetching grenades, he received a gunshot wound to the head and was awarded the Victoria Cross in recognition of his bravery.
But when war came to an end, Pte Harvey was largely forgotten. He descended into a world of drink and rough sleeping and when he died in Stowmarket in 1960, he was given a pauper’s funeral.
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It was not until 2000 that a headstone was added to his grave.
During the meeting, one of Pte Harvey’s relatives talked about the soldier after the war.
Ipswich’s town sergeant, Andrew Beal, who was among the party which discussed a tribute for him, added: “Sam Harvey’s family were involved because we would like to get them to agree to either a tree or a bench and they were really interested.”
As well as the tree, The campaigners revealed that officials from Hunnaball have also agreed to spruce up Pte Harvey’s grave at cost and it may also have a QR scan code put in place, so people can find out more about his time during the war.
Any other relatives of Sam Harvey are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org