Frederick William (FW) Harvey

(26 March 1888 – 13 February 1957 / Hartpury, Gloucestershire)

Biography of Frederick William (FW) Harvey

Frederick William (FW) Harvey poet

Frederick William Harvey was an English poet, known for poems composed in prisoner-of-war camps at Krefeld and Gütersloh that were sent back to England, during World War I.

He was born in Hartpury, Gloucestershire. He was educated at the King's School, Gloucester, where he formed a close friendship with Ivor Gurney, and then at Rossall School. Gurney and Herbert Howells, another local composer, would set a number of his poems to music.

He started on a legal career, which would always be somewhat tentative. He became a Roman Catholic convert in 1914, and shortly after joined the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private soldier, as World War I broke out.

Serving in France, he was awarded the D. C. M. in 1915, and returned to England for officer training. He was captured behind the German lines in 1916, where he began to write more seriously.

He returned home in 1919, and married in 1921. He did not enjoy any sustained success as a writer, and never fully settled.

Frederick William (FW) Harvey's Works:

A Gloucestershire Lad At Home and Abroad (1916)
Gloucestershire Friends (1917)
Ducks (1919)
Comrades in Captivity: a record of life in seven German prison camps (1920) (war memoirs)
Farewell (1921)
September and Other Poems (1925)
In Pillowell Woods (1926)
Forest Offering
Gloucestershire (1947)

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(To E.M., Who drew them in Holzminden Prison)


From troubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,