Ipswich: Town First World War hero, Private Samuel Harvey, set to get a fitting tribute in Ipswich as fundraising campaign reaches nearly £800

Private Samuel Harvey (Left) at Buckingham Palace Garden Party 1919. Pictured with George V and Quee

Private Samuel Harvey (Left) at Buckingham Palace Garden Party 1919. Pictured with George V and Queen Mary

A fundraising campaign to honour an Ipswich First World War hero whose gallant actions on the battlefield saw him awarded the highest military honour has already made nearly £800.

Vicky Hobden from Park View Care Home with some of the children from Sprites Primary School, Ipswich

Vicky Hobden from Park View Care Home with some of the children from Sprites Primary School, Ipswich, who have raised money for a Pte Sam Harvey memorial campaign. Pictured with Nathan, Quinlan, Emilia and Harvey - Credit: Archant

The cash means the team behind the initiative, from Park View Care Home in London Road, and their supporters can now begin planning for a fitting tribute to Victoria Cross recipient, Private Samuel Harvey.

The project was set up with the modest aim of raising enough funds for a memorial bench or an urn for his grave, in Ipswich Old Cemetery,

But thanks to the support of outside organisations, including a major sponsored walk from pupils at Sprites Primary School, Ipswich, which raised more than £690, the possibilities for a memorial have greatly increased.

Mandy Dennington, activities co-ordinator at the care home, said: “We are extremely pleased. We never thought we could get anywhere near that amount on our own, so getting the school on board was great.

“He (Pte Harvey) didn’t have a lot at the end and I think that this goes to show that however young a generation is, they still respect the sacrifice that people have made for us.”

Pte Harvey, who was born in Nottingham, suffered a gunshot wound to the head during the Battle of Loos on September 29, 1915, when he was running back and forth across open land to fetch grenades for his comrades in the 1st Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment. It was for these actions that he was awarded the Victoria Cross – which he received at Buckingham Palace.

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He lived in Ipswich after the war but his life descended into a gloomy world of drink and rough sleeping.

When he died in Stowmarket, in 1960, he was given a pauper’s funeral and it was not until 2000 that his grave site was given a headstone befitting his actions in the war.

It was his story of bravery and tragedy that struck a chord with residents at the care home and sparked the campaign.

The project has also now been boosted by funeral service firm, the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group, which has agreed to repair the damage to Pte Harvey’s grave and to put an urn in place at cost price.

Mrs Dennington said she and the team were delighted with the backing the initiative has received and that they would ensure Pte Harvey receives a fitting tribute.

She added: “Let’s take our time and do something that makes our town proud and do something that will be good for Ipswich.”

What do you think would make a fitting tribute to Pte Harvey? Leave a comment in the space below.