282,666 Pages

Lionel de Jersey Harvard
As a Harvard senior
Born (1893-06-03)3 June 1893
Lewisham, London[1]
Died 30 March 1918(1918-03-30) (aged 24)
Arras, France
Cause of death Killed in action
Place of burial Boisleux-au-Mont[1]
Nationality English
Education B.A. (English, cum laude)
Alma mater Harvard College
Known for The first Harvard to attend Harvard
Home town London[2]:14[3]:654
Spouse(s) May (Barker) Harvard
Children John Peter de Jersey Harvard
Parents Thomas Mawson Harvard
Maud de Jersey (Thompson) Harvard[1]
John Eric de J. Harvard (brother, b.& d. 1892)[1]:200[3][better source needed]
Kenneth O'Gorman Harvard (brother)
  • Boylston Prize
  • Class poet
  • Baccalaureate Hymnist
Signature "Yours most sincerely, Lionel de J. Harvard"

Lionel de Jersey Harvard (3 June 1893 – 30 March 1918) was a young Englishman who, discovered to be collaterally descended from Harvard College founder John Harvard, was consequently offered the opportunity to attend that university, from which he graduated in 1915. The first Harvard to attend Harvard, he died in World War I less than three years later, leaving a wife and infant son.

After his death a fellow officer wrote, "If Harvard College made him what he was, I want my sons to go there that it may do the same for them."

Harvard College's freshman dormitory Lionel Hall and the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholarship were named in his honour.

Background[edit | edit source]

In 1908 editor Mark A. De Wolfe Howe found an 1847 letter[1] in which Harvard President Edward Everett makes reference to a "Reverend John Harvard" living at the time in Plymouth, England, calling him "a Wesleyan clergyman whose ancestor ... was a brother of our founder".[4] Inquiries led to the identi­fi­cation of London business­man[5] Thomas Mawson Harvard as a son of this nineteenth-century John Harvard (1819–1888),[1][3] through whom he was descended from Thomas Harvard (1609–1637), brother[2] of Harvard founder John Harvard (1607–1638), who had died childless.[5]

Thomas Mawson Harvard's elder son Lionel de Jersey Harvard (called "Leo" by his family)[6] was at the time attending St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School in Southwark—​the successor to St Saviour's Grammar School, which John Harvard had himself attended.[upper-alpha 1] Also like John Harvard, many in Lionel's line had attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge and become ministers.[2] On leaving St Olave's, however, the family's finances ruled out any ambition to attend Emmanuel himself, and so he took employment with a firm of marine insurance brokers.

In 1910 a group of Harvard alumni offered to underwrite Lionel's attendance at Harvard;[upper-alpha 2] Harvard itself waived the usual tuition of $150 per year.[citation needed] He failed his first attempt at the entrance exam, but after a year of refresher study he qualified, and "set out for Cambridge, Massachusetts in lieu of Cambridge, England", as his friend John Paulding Brown put it later.[upper-alpha 3]

Harvard College[edit | edit source]

As his distant uncle John Harvard in pag­eant cele­brat­ing 150th anni­ver­sary of Hollis Hall

The "sentimental and romantic"[5] story of "how Mother Harvard sought and found one of her own"[8] was reported throughout the United States,[9] and on 26 September 1911 the Boston Transcript announced, "Harvard of Harvard Here".[10] "He had the time of his life getting safely ashore [past] reporters and camera artists", said the Cambridge Tribune. "Apparently the one thing he does not wish is notoriety of any kind."[11] Howe later wrote that "it seemed like the realization of a fairy-tale ... Our local newspapers did everything in their power to spoil him, if he had been spoilable. His arrival and history were glaringly chronicled."[1] His freshman rooms were in Weld Hall.[10]

He was a good student if not brilliant, and well-liked;[2]:13-14 Brown called him "a little different from the boys who come up each year as Freshmen, more gentle, perhaps, and more self-controlled."[12]:531 He belonged to the Hasty Pudding and D.U. Clubs, Delta Kappa Epsilon, the Signet Society, the Glee Club, the Dramatic, Musical and Cosmopolitan Clubs, the Social Service Committee of Phillips Brooks House, the Chapel Choir, the Memorial Society, and the Christian Associ­ation; and was an officer of several of these.[1] Though on arrival he had told reporters that he played soccer (and tennis "some") and wanted to learn baseball and American football,[10] his participation in organized athletics went no further than class crew.[1]:201[2]:13

His junior-year recitation of Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman" won him the Boylston Prize,[13] and after he portrayed John Harvard in a pageant celebrating the 150th anniversary of Hollis Hall[14][15] his classmates began calling him John.[1] "Great was the applause whenever the [Glee Club] broke into, 'Here's to Johnny Harvard, fill him up a glass, Fill him up a glass to his name and fame,' for there he was in person. [He] seemed a living symbol of all that was best and brightest in Harvard itself, manifested to us briefly after three hundred years."[2]

Commencement[edit | edit source]

Lionel Harvard (right) on Commence­ment Day, 24 June 1915[16]

Graduating cum laude in English[17] in June 1915, he was selected to compose both the Class Poem and the Baccalaurete Hymn.[6] His poem was "a stirring lyric adjuring all Harvard men in the present crisis of civilization [i.e. World War I] to stand for their historic ideals of freedom":[18]

A call to arms rings out today / Far loftier than of steel,
The arms of the strong man girt with truth / To guard God's commonweal.[19]

His hymn reflected similar themes:

Forward we go from out these hallowed walls, / Fearless with Thee where'er our duty calls;
Sundered in body, make us one in Thee, / One in the truth that makes Thy children free.[20][21]

Speaking to the Alumni Association immediately after receiving his diploma he said, "I have had four years here full to the brim of happiness and ever-increasing joy ... I can never say enough in gratitude. I may say 'Thank you!' but that word was never charged with more fervor."[22] He later wrote to Howe: "I have never been able to find out who were the gentlemen who have been so generously looking after me in money matters whilst I have been in Cambridge. It has been awfully generous of them, and I do appreciate it. I hope I shall be able to repay the kindness of you all in many more ways than one."[1]

Army, marriage, and death[edit | edit source]

Lionel Harvard

Kenneth Harvard

Harvard had originally planned to become a medical missionary, but on returning to London immediately after graduation he enlisted in the Inns of Court Officers' Training Corps.[2]:14 "It is all of a piece with the devotion which the best young men of Europe are rendering to their flags," said the Harvard Alumni Bulletin.[23]

On 11 September 1915[1] he married childhood friend (Edith) May Barker,[2] to whom he had been quietly engaged since before leaving for America.[24] He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards later that month,[25] and joined the 1st Battalion in France on 8 March 1916.[26]

A son, John Peter de Jersey Harvard,[1][27] was born 4 September 1916.[28] Lionel was shot in the chest later that month at the Battle of the Somme[29]:125[30] but after a long convalescence he returned to combat in June 1917, now as a lieutenant and company commander.[1] His younger brother Kenneth O'Gorman Harvard (born 4 June 1897),[3] also a lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards, was killed at the Battle of Passchendaele (the third Battle of Ypres) on 1 August 1917;[1] Lionel, who had been fighting nearby, helped bury him.[2]

By March 1918 Lionel Harvard was commander of Number One Company, designated the King's Company—​as Brown put it, "a high honor for a lieutenant, and usually a fatal one".[2]:16 On the morning of 30 March 1918 he was killed by a minenwerfer shell[29] near Arras during the German Spring Offensive, just before a promotion to captain became effective.[1][31] He was buried at Boisleux-au-Mont.[32]

Tributes and legacy[edit | edit source]

Lionel Harvard

In 1919 poet Harry Webb Farrington published a hymn, "Lionel de Jersey Harvard", including the lines:

For hallowed halls, which bear his name, / Have felt his foot and heard his voice,
And sent him forth, not gowned / In student black and mortar board
But khaki-clad with helmet steel.[33]

Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell called Lionel Harvard's death "a great personal loss", noting that Lionel, like John Harvard, had died just three years after taking his degree;[12] with his own funds Lowell financed construction of Lionel Hall as a memorial.[upper-alpha 4] In his 1923 Commence­ment address, Lowell related a letter written by a British officer seeking advice on preparing his sons for Harvard. In March 1918 (Lowell said this officer had written) he had

come into contact with an officer in the next sector of the line who told me that he was a graduate of Harvard College, whose name he bore. He told me what it had done for him. I never saw his face clearly while he was alive, for I met him only at night, and I never saw him by daylight until after he had been killed, a few days later. But if Harvard College made him what he was, I want my sons to go there that it may do the same for them.[36]

Lionel and Kenneth were remembered on the memorial at their first school, Malvern House School, Lewisham Park (destroyed in an air raid during World War II) and on a memorial at the Wesleyan Church (now demolished) at Sydenham.[37] In 1923 the Associated Harvard Clubs established the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholarship,[38] which annually funds a year's study at Emmanuel College by a Harvard College graduate.[upper-alpha 5]

Lionel Harvard's son John Peter de Jersey Harvard was a guest at Harvard's 1936 Tercentenary celebration,[upper-alpha 6] and as a major in the Royal Artillery during World War II survived imprisonment in a Japanese prison camp after being captured in the Battle of Singapore.[2] A second Harvard, John Harvard of Andes, New York, graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1969.[42][43]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. [1] St Saviour's Grammar School had merged with St Olave's Grammar School in 1896.[citation needed] John Harvard's connection to St Saviour's inspired creation[when?] of the Harvard Chapel in Southwark Cathedral, which was the St Saviour's parish church with which St Saviour's School was associated.[citation needed]
  2. [1] On 28 September 1914 the President and Fellows of Harvard College voted to "express their gratitude ... to four anonymous friends for gifts amounting to $450 towards the expenses of Lionel de Jersey Harvard for the year 1914–15."[7]
  3. [2][1] "Lionel took the examination in June 1910. He had been out of school and at work for a year, however, and this fact, together with the wide difference in the courses pursued by English and American secondary schools, prevented him from doing himself justice ... Nothing daunted, he went back to school for a year, and, profiting from his 1910 experiences with the examination papers, he tried again and was successful. [In 1911] Harvard itself gave no examination in London, as there were no other candidates for admission, but the young man passed the examination of the college entrance examination board, and this was accepted by Harvard."[5]
  4. [34] Lionel Hall was, by design, built on the site on which Lowell's distant cousin James Russell Lowell had delivered an ode, honouring the dead, at Harvard's Commemoration Day exercises just after the end of the American Civil War.[35]
  5. [39] In 1935 J. P. Morgan, Jr. donated $500 toward the fund for this scholarship.[40]
  6. Time said that "Peter" Harvard (then 19 years old) "was imported for the Tercentenary. This youngster took no active part in the exercises, [but] was shunted quietly about as an interesting historical exhibit. Peter is enrolled at Durham Engineering School, where he will probably remain."[41]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 Howe, Mark A. De Wolfe (March 1922). "Lionel de Jersey Harvard – Harvard Graduate, Class of 1915 – A Memoir". The Landmark. pp. 199–203. http://books.google.com/books?id=lqs6AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA199.  open access publication - free to read
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Brown, John Paulding (September 30, 1967). "'Harvard of Harvard'". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. pp. 13–16. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Holman, Louis A. (June 1910). "Living Harvards and Their Family Records". Harvard Graduates' Magazine. pp. 648–54. https://books.google.com/books?id=xC1YAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA648. 
  4. "Descendant of John Harvard in Freshman Class". Harvard Crimson. September 28, 1911. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1911/9/28/descendant-of-john-harvard-in-freshman.  open access publication - free to read
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Lionel de Jersey Harvard will enter Harvard in Fall". Cambridge Chronicle. September 2, 1911. p. 9. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Chronicle19110902-01.2.81#.  open access publication - free to read
  6. 6.0 6.1 Howe, Mark A. De Wolfe (April 11, 1918). "Lionel de Jersey Harvard Killed in Action". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. pp. 540–1. http://books.google.com/books?id=wCfPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA540.  open access publication - free to read
  7. "Corporation Records. Meeting of September 28, 1914". The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. December 1914. p. 270. http://books.google.com/books?id=HSdYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA270.  open access publication - free to read
  8. "Harvard's Methodist Harvard". Christian Advocate. October 5, 1911. p. 1338. http://books.google.com/books?id=Zi4xAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1338.  open access publication - free to read
  9. "A Harvard at Harvard". New York Observer. Morse, Hallock & Company. September 7, 1911. p. 318. http://books.google.com/books?id=KhVQAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA318. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Harvard of Harvard Here". Boston Evening Transcript. September 26, 1911. p. 12. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2249&dat=19110926&id=Y48-AAAAIBAJ&sjid=D1oMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3703,2957456.  open access publication - free to read
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named tribune_renowned_is_here
  12. 12.0 12.1 Lowell, Abbott Lawrence (June 1918). Lionel de Jersey Harvard, '15. XXVI. pp. 529–31. http://books.google.com/books?id=TitYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA529.  open access publication - free to read
  13. "Boylston Prizes Awarded". Harvard Crimson. May 22, 1914. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1914/5/22/boylston-prizes-awarded-pfirst-prizes-in.  open access publication - free to read
  14. "Hollis Hall Pageant". Cambridge Tribune. 14 June 1913. p. 8. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Tribune19130614-01.2.89#.  open access publication - free to read
  15. "Hollis Hall Pageant". Cambridge Chronicle. 21 June 1913. p. 7. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Chronicle19130621-01.2.88#.  open access publication - free to read
  16. Matthews, Albert (1917). "Harvard Commencement Days 1642–1916". Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. pp. 309–84. http://books.google.com/books?id=UbkMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA384.  open access publication - free to read
  17. "Honors and Other Distinctions". Part XIV, Supplement. Student Council of Harvard College. 1915. p. 294. http://books.google.com/books?id=WwcgAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA294.  open access publication - free to read
  18. "The Week. Commencement Notes.". The Outlook: With Illustrations. The Outlook. July 7, 1915. pp. 541–2. http://books.google.com/books?id=vH-CMUXDjLEC&pg=PA542.  open access publication - free to read
  19. "Class Day – Commencement". Cambridge Tribune. June 26, 1915. pp. 1,6–7. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Tribune19150626-01.1.1.  open access publication - free to read
  20. "Baccalaureate Hymn". Cambridge Tribune. June 26, 1915. p. 5. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Tribune19150626-01.2.2.  open access publication - free to read
  21. "Hymn". Christian Register. August 19, 1915. p. 781. http://books.google.com/books?id=mNk_AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA781.  open access publication - free to read
  22. "Commencement. Afternoon Exercises. Lionel de Jersey Harvard". The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. September 1915. p. 100. http://books.google.com/books?id=3CdYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA100.  open access publication - free to read
  23. "News and views. Two speeches.". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. June 30, 1915. p. 709–10. http://books.google.com/books?id=JyTPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA710-IA1.  open access publication - free to read
  24. "Lionel Harvard Married". Cambridge Tribune. October 2, 1915. p. 6. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Tribune19151002-01.2.79#.  open access publication - free to read
  25. "No. 29309". 24 September 1915. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29309/page/ [dead link]
  26. Ponsonby, Frederick Edward Grey (1920). The Grenadier Guards in the Great War of 1914–1918. 1. Macmillan and Co., Ltd.. pp. 356, 362. http://books.google.com/books?id=HuabAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA356.  open access publication - free to read
  27. "Harvard family. The John Harvard family collection, 1577, 1622, and 1828-2007. HUG 1447, Harvard University Archives.". http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~hua05007. 
  28. "Alumni Notes". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. November 23, 1916. p. 210. http://books.google.com/books?id=9oMfAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP210.  open access publication - free to read
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ponsonby, Frederick Edward Grey (1920). The Grenadier Guards in the Great War of 1914–1918. 2. Macmillan and Co., Ltd.. pp. 258. https://books.google.com/books?id=8nm-BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA258.  open access publication - free to read
  30. "L. de J. Harvard '15 Wounded". Harvard Crimson. 17 October 1916. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1916/10/17/l-de-j-harvard-15-wounded.  open access publication - free to read
  31. "Lionel de Jersey Harvard Falls a Victim in World War". Cambridge Tribune. April 20, 1918. p. 5. http://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Tribune19180420-01.2.62#.  open access publication - free to read
  32. "Harvard, Lionel de Jersey". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/284804/HARVARD,%20LIONEL%20De%20JERSEY. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  33. Farrington, Harry Webb (1919). "Lionel de Jersey Harvard". The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. p. 630. http://books.google.com/books?id=yCtYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA630.  open access publication - free to read
  34. Bethell, John T. (1998). Harvard Observed: An Illustrated History of the University in the Twentieth Century. Harvard University Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-674-37733-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=hxpvsfxjfMAC&pg=PA72.  open access publication - free to read
  35. Yeomans, Henry Aaron (1948). Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1856–1943. Harvard University Press. p. 228. http://books.google.com/books?id=_0N4XwAACAAJ. 
  36. "Commencement Day, 1923. President Lowell". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. June 28, 1923. pp. 1139–42. http://books.google.com/books?id=pmAiAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1142.  open access publication - free to read
  37. Lewisham war memorials website[better source needed]
  38. "Meeting of the Associated Harvard Clubs. Committee on Emmanuel College". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. June 14, 1923. p. 1077. http://books.google.com/books?id=pmAiAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1077.  open access publication - free to read
  39. Levenson, Eugenia V. (July–August 2004). "John Harvard's Journal. John Harvard Didn't Sleep Here". Harvard Magazine. http://harvardmagazine.com/2004/07/john-harvard-didnt-sleep.html.  open access publication - free to read
  40. "Corporation Records. Meeting of January 21, 1935". Harvard Alumni Bulletin. 1935. p. 657. http://books.google.com/books?id=cXbPAAAAMAAJ.  open access publication - free to read
  41. "Cambridge birthday". Time. September 28, 1936. pp. 22–24. 
  42. Croft, George L (September 21, 1965). "John Harvard, '69, Joins Old in Yard". Boston Globe. 
  43. Harvard Alumni Directory. Harvard University. 1975. 
Cite error: <ref> tag with name "tribune_renowned_is here" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.

External links[edit | edit source]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.