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90495 Wing Commander Charles Edgar Harvey


This man had an interesting career in the Navy in the Great War and later in the Air Force. 

If anyone can add to his career we would appreciate it. He was born on 4th September 1896 and parents lived at Fern 

Cottage, Mount Pleasant Road, Upper Brighton, Cheshire.

His father E. Harvey was a Brazil Merchant.

In the 1901 census he was living at Fern Cottage, Mount Pleasant, Liscard, Birkenhead, Cheshire with his father Edmund, age 30 and his 

mother, Annie age 31. His father is working as a Produce Merchants Manager.

He has one older sister Harriet S., age 7 and two brothers John E., age 6 and Arthur F., age 2. They have one servant, Mary E. Eglin, a 

single woman, age 18,  working as a Nurse.

In the 1911 census he was living at a 9-roomed house, Fern Cottage, Mount Pleasant Road, Upper Brighton, Cheshire with his widowed 

father Edmund, age 40. He has one older brother John E., age 16 and Arthur F,. age 12. They have a visitor, Ethel Atkinson, a single 

woman, age 28, and one servant, Ethel Robbins, a single woman, age 31,  working as a Cook.

He was educated at the Liskard High School for Boys from September 1911.

On 7th October 1911 he was issued with his Board of Trade Certificate.

He left in July 1913 when he was nominated as Midhipman in the Royal Naval Reserve.

He was appointed to H.M.S. “Temeraine” for 12 months training. He was one of the five selected candidates for the King’s Gold Medal.

He was Senior Captain Port Forecastle.

On joining the Royal Naval Reserve he served from 7th August 1913 on H.M.S. Termaine and the on H.M.S. Moon from 7th September 

1915 to 20th October 1915.

He was described as “Far above average-Promising”.

He served on H.M.S. Moon from 15th May 1916 to 7th August 1916.

He was described as “To entire satisfaction, hardworking and thoroughly reliable.”

He served on H.M.S. Moon from 15th September 1916 to 31st January 1917.

He was described as “To entire satisfaction.”

He served on H.M.S. Pembroke from February 1917 to 30th April 1917.

He was described as “Satisfactory.”

He served on Halcyon P.50 from February 1917 to 30th April 1917 as Mid-Shipman.

He served on Halcyon P.22 from 3rd May 1917 to 30th June 1917.

He was described as “Entirely Satisfactory, hardworking, painstaking,

“Satisfactory, exceptional, has show much tact and ability in carrying out his duties. As a 1st Lieutenant he is considered suitable in 

every way for transfer to Royal Navy.” 

He was transferred to Royal Navy in rank of Sub-Lieutenant on 15th September 1917 to 24th August 1918

He served on H.M.S. Canada from 3rd May 1918 to 17th December 1918 as a Sub-Lieutenant.

On transfer to the Royal Navy his parents were said to live at 54 Warren Drive, Cheshire

He was on H.M.S. Halcyon on transfer.

His transfer to the Royal Navy on 23rd March 1918 as Sub-Lieutenant was subject to passing in Seamanship for rank of Lieutenant at the 

first opportunity.

His W. R. Certificate was dated 24th April 1918

On examination in November 1918 he passed out of 390/666.  

On 21st December 1918 he was described as Satisfactory, zealous, painstaking and trustworthy, a very promising officer.

He was sent on a course at Cambridge University on 15th January 1919 to 11th June 1919.

On 28th May 1919 he applied to resign his commission and be placed on the Emergency List.

He was promoted to Lieutenant and placed on Emergency List from 15th September 1920.

The 1921 census shows him to be a single man age 24 and living with at a 12-roomed house, 34, Southborough Road, Bickley, Bromley, 

Kent, his parents Edmund Harvey, age 50 and Step-mother Ethel Stanfield, age 40. His father was a Cocoa and Coffee Merchant. His 

father is recorded as working at 15/17 St. Andrews Buildings, St. Dunstan’s Hill, London

Charles’s occupation is given as Lieutenant RN, Emergency List. In addition under employer it gives “Kirson Empire Lighting Co. Ltd 

Stamford (out of work).

He has two younger Step-sisters Annie Frances, age 11 and Betty Joyce, age 4, and Patricia, age 1. They have one visitor, Joseph 

Lawrence Stanfield, age 29, a single man working as an Engineer. His employer was given as Scottish Mesopotamia Corporation  Ltd. (out 

of work).

In addition the family have three servants, all single women, Emily Doris, age 39, a children’s Nurse, Doris Sarah Marion Croft, age 21, a 

Housemaid  and Annie Laura Heath, age 17, a Cook.

He appears to have remained a civilian but joined Balloon Command.  Naval officers were in high demand in balloon work because they 

had experience of man management but also had an extensive knowledge of ropework and knots which was a useful skill when handling 

balloons. In addition some balloons were waterborne and an officer with nautical knowledge and skill was very useful in this area.

His Naval records contain an entry dated 18th April 1944. “Message from the Ministry C.E. Harvey is now serving as a Wing Commander in 

the Auxiliary Air Force.”

On 13th December 1938 he was gazetted as being granted a commission in No.902 County of London (Balloon Barrage) which was 

effective from 19th September 1938.

He was called out for service with the Auxiliary Air Force on 11th June 1939 to 18th June 1939, and 23rd July 1939 to 31st June 1939, 

and 1st August 1939 to 9th August 1939.

He was called out for service on 24th August 1939,

 On 3rd October 1939 he was gazetted as being  appointed to the rank of Flight Lieutenant effective from 4th August 1939.

On 15th December 1939 he was in No.902 Balloon Barrage Squadron and was temporarily attached to R.A.F. Felixstowe No.928 Balloon 

Barrage Squadron for duty.

He returned to No.902 Balloon Barrage Squadron on  11th January 1940 and proceeded on leave. On 19th March 1940 there were 

inter-squadron postings with Flight Lieutenant C. E. Harvey being posted from “E” Flight to “B”  Flight.

On 20th August 1940 he was gazetted as being transferred to the Balloon Branch effective 27th March 1940.


On 17th October 1940 Flight Lieutenant C. E. Harvey reported 12 incendiary bombs on  site 12 and in the near vicinity. All were put out 

and there were no casualties or damage

B Flight was headquartered at Ranger’s House, Chesterfield Walk, Greenwich Park. S.E.

It was flying balloons at the following sites,

12. Greenwich  Park, -Maxe Hill Entrance.

13. St. Joseph’s Academy, Lee Terrace, Blackheath S.E.3

14. Holly Hedge House, Blackheath, S.E.3.

15. Greenwich  Park,-Adjoining Manager’s House.- Vacated

16. Deptford Recreation Ground, Brocknill Road, Deptford S.E.

17. Greenwich  Park,- Lower Gate- St. Mary’s Gate.

18. Supply Reserve Depot, Deptford S.E.6.

19. Canal Side, Plough Way, Rotherhithe S.E.16.

20. Central Yard, Surrey Commercial Docks, Rotherhithe S.E.

21. Southwark Park, S.E.1.

22. Blackheath Roundabout.

On 6th November 1940 Flight Lieutenant C. E. Harvey reported Balloon KB Mark V 3686 at Site 13 hit by shrapnel and under repair. 

There were 2 inches of  snow inside balloon ballonet scoop.

On 4th April 1941 Flight Lieutenant C. E. Harvey proceeded to No. 1 Balloon Training Centre, Cardington, on seven day course of 

advanced ballooning.

On 18th September 1941 Flight Lieutenant C. E. Harvey assumed command of “C” Flight.

On 24th September 1941 he was transferred to Headquarters No. 3 Group for service on defence duties.

On 29th September 1941 Flight Lieutenant C. E. Harvey  was posted out of No.902 Balloon Barrage Squadron - presumably to General 


On 28th October 1941 he was gazetted as being transferred to the Accountancy and Special Duties Branch Auxiliary Air Force, effective 

24th September 1941.

On 13th February 1942 posted to R.A.F. Regiment.

On 30th June 1942 he was gazetted as being transferred to the Royal AirForce Regiment effective  1st February 1942.

On 3rd November 1944 he was gazetted as being appointed as Squadron leader, effective 1st October 1944.

He was gazetted as relinquishing his commission on 1st July 1954, effective 10th February 1954, retaining the rank of Wing Commander.

He was awarded the Air Efficiency Award.

On 16th February 1945 he was released for 3 months for duty with Fowler Ltd, Orchard Place, Blackwall. 



On 24th May 1945 he was given an extension to that duty for an indefinite period. 


Fowler Ltd, would appear to be a Sugar Refiner and Importer on one of the wharves. 

He clearly had some special qualification to be considered for such release.

He was released 27th November 1945.  Last day of service was 22nd January 1946 at No.100 Personnel Dispersal Centre.





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