Yale University Library

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Beinecke Digital Collections

Francis Harvey

Francis Harvey, VC Major Francis John William Harvey, VC (29 April 1873 – 31 May 1916) was an officer of the British Royal Marine Light Infantry during the First World War. Harvey was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces, for his actions at the height of the Battle of Jutland. A long serving Royal Marine officer descended of a military family, during his career Harvey became a specialist in naval artillery, serving on many large warships as gunnery training officer and gun commander. Specially requested for , the flagship of the British battlecruiser fleet, Harvey fought at the battles of Heligoland Bight, Dogger Bank and Jutland.

At Jutland, Harvey, although mortally wounded by German shellfire, ordered the magazine of Q turret on the battlecruiser ''Lion'' to be flooded. This action prevented the tons of cordite stored there from catastrophically detonating in an explosion that would have destroyed the vessel and all aboard her. Although he succumbed to his injuries seconds later, his dying act may have saved over a thousand lives and prompted Winston Churchill to later comment: "In the long, rough, glorious history of the Royal Marines there is no name and no deed which in its character and consequences ranks above this".
Showing 1 - 16 of 1062 for search: 'Harvey, Francis', query time: 0.57s
View: List list Grid grid

Help

Expand Your Search

Search our local catalog, finding aids, and more.


Need assistance?

Ask a librarian.