Ipswich: First World War hero, Private Sam Harvey, will not have Victoria Cross paving slab placed in the town – campaigners say it is disappointing

A picture of Private Samuel Harvey.

A picture of Private Samuel Harvey. - Credit: Archant

A First World War soldier whose heroic actions on the battlefield saw him awarded with the Victoria Cross will not have his memorial paving stone placed in Ipswich – even though he lived in the area for more than 30 years.

Instead, Private Sam Harvey’s stone, one of hundreds commissioned for VC recipients to mark the centenary of the conflict, will be laid in Nottingham – the closest city to where he was born.

Pte Harvey was in his 30s when he continually fetched grenades for his comrades during heavy fighting in the Battle of Loos in 1915 – he received a gunshot wound to the head during his mission, but survived.

He spent most of his life after the war in Ipswich but when he died in Stowmarket in 1960, he was given a pauper’s funeral and it was not until 2000 that he got a headstone.

Staff and residents at Park View Care Home, in London Road, Ipswich have since launched a campaign to fund a memorial for him.

The team behind the campaign admitted it was disappointing that a paving slab would not be laid in Ipswich for Pte Harvey.

Mandy Dennington, activities co-ordinator at the home, said: “He is almost like our adopted child.

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“I can see why they want it in his birthplace, but he is rather special to Ipswich as well.

“At the end of the day, it would be nice if it went here but it makes the Ipswich memorial to him even more special.”

Taff Gillingham, chairman of the Western Front Association’s Suffolk branch, added: “If there was any Ipswich Victoria Cross medal winner who moved somewhere else then we would want it to be here.

“We should just say we were lucky to have Sam here and if people want to commemorate him they can go to the cemetery.”