A heroic World War One soldier’s previously unknown semi-autobiographical novel has come to light following the completion of a project to archive and make public the manuscripts, poems and correspondence of Frederick William Harvey.
F W Harvey’s papers are now available to the public thanks to a major collaborative project between the University of Exeter and the Gloucestershire Archives.
The Gloucestershire soldier became well known nationally for his poetry and his acts of courage. Despite having trained as a solicitor, he enlisted in the ranks and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal before being made an officer. Found among Harvey’s papers was an unpublished novel titled ‘Will Harvey – A Romance’, which is a fictional, but semi-autobiographical, novel which covers the early lives and school-days of two brothers. The story then follows them into the trenches of WWI, where Eric is killed (as was F W Harvey’s brother in real life) and Will is captured (again as in real life). There were several attempts to have it published however it seems that the post-WWI public was no longer interested in reading about the war. (more…)