Robert James Jarvis has been a very hard man to locate in spite of the clear reference to the 19th(Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal) Hussars on the Roll of Honour and we have found no mention of him in Ryburgh with the exception of this inclusion. The information we have otherwise is from the descendant family of his younger daughter Peggy.
Robert James was one of 7 surviving children born to James Jarvis a widower from Bawdeswell and Sophia Bunnett who were married in 1871. Robert was born in 1883 and baptised with sister, Sarah Anne and brother Daniel John in 1888 probably just after their move to Wendling. Their two eldest children, Eliza and Thomas were born in Middlesborough, Sarah and sister Susannah in Bawdeswell, Robert and Daniel in Themelthorpe and Charles the youngest in Wendling.
In 1901, 17 year old Robert is an apprentice blacksmith living with his parents in Wendling and then the next mention we find is twelve years later when he is married. This took place in the summer of 1913 in the Kingston (Surrey) district to Patricia Lovett born in Battersea in 1893 daughter of Henry George Lovett (Steam Engine Maker/Fitter) and Sarah Elizabeth Dixon who had married in December 1880.
Their first child, Kathleen Patricia May was born 20thMay 1914. She married John Arthur William Malpress in 1938, emigrating to Australia after the War. She died in Victoria in 1971.
The baptism record for Robert James Jarvis (Junior) Robert and Patricia’s elder son on May 28th 1916 in Hampton Wick finally gives confirmation to his occupation as “Shoeing Smith xix Hussars” and as being our man on the Roll of Honour
No Medal Index Card comes up in searches for 19th Hussars, the nearest match being a Robert J Jarvis, R[oyal] War[wickshire] R[egiment] M[achine]G[un]C[orps] (Cav[alry])
Robert’s Granddaughter, Jeanette writes:
“I do know that Robert Jarvis was shot, the bullet went through his foot and killed his horse.”
After the War the family with Kathleen and Robert settled in the Kingston area until WW2. Two further children were born during those brief years of peace, Charles T Jarvis born in the 4thquarter of 1921 and Peggy born 4thAugust 1933.
The 1939 Register records their address as 9 Grayham Crescent New Malden and Robert is described there as a Blacksmith (Heavy Worker).The previous year, upon Kathleen’s marriage certificate he is described as a “Car Body Builder”.
The War first took its toll on the family when Patricia was recorded as a civilian death on August 16th 1940. According to the family, following this tragedy Robert then moved to Colkirk to join his daughter Peggy who must have been evacuated there. Even in Colkirk he was unable to avoid the consequences of the War he had once fought in order never to happen again. His elder son Robert James, (known as James in the family) had joined the Royal Artillery and was serving in the Far East when taken captive by the Japanese. He died whilst working on the Burma Railway and is buried in Thailand.
When and how he was associated with Great Ryburgh we can only speculate although the obvious connection would be his work as a blacksmith. and could account for his time prior to his marriage and joining the Army
Wendling where he lived when he was apprenticed was also the home of Edgar Lovett who went on after the war to become the Manager of the Farmers Foundry in Ryburgh. Prior to that he had lived and worked in South Lynn undoubtedly for Thomas Cooper's Steam Digger Company.
In 1905, Edgar Lovett married one Ethel Annie Jarvis from a King's Lynn family and although research gets confusing when names occur like this, an initial appraisal suggests that this Lovett /Jarvis connection is coincidental as indeed is the Lovett/Lovett one! If any reader can shed light on this conundrum however, we would love to hear from you.
We would like to thank Robert’s descendants for the help they have given to compile this brief history and they in turn would be very grateful to know where Robert James Jarvis was buried following his move to Colkirk and subsequent death in 1949