Captain The Hon. HAROLD Vyvyan Alfred St. GEORGE HARMSWORTH
Unit 2nd Irish Guards
Awards M C
Buried at HAMPSTEAD CEMETERY
He was the eldest son of Harold Sydney Harmsworth, later 1st Viscount Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail and the Evening News.
At the outbreak of war, he joined the 2nd Battalion the Irish Guards and saw action in France.
On 13 January 1915 he wrote to his father, “Hell is the only word descriptive of the weather out here and the state of the ground. It rains every day! The trenches are mud and water up to one’s neck, rendering some impassable – but where it is up to the waist we have to make our way along cheerfully. I can tell you – it is no fun getting wet up to the waist and right through, as I did last night. Lots of men have been sent off with slight frost-bite – the foot swells up and gets too big for the boot.”
He was wounded several times and in December 1917 again wrote to his father: “I am now well on my way to England and comfort. I have got as far as the base hospital at Etaples. Here I am very comfortable and am having a rest after my week in that hectic spot, the Casualty Clearing Station. My wounds are healing very rapidly – in fact I don’t worry about them now. I have been awfully lucky, no vital or difficult spots, such as knees touched.”
He died of those wounds in February 1918 at 14 Grosvenor Crescent, London and is buried in Hampstead Cemetery. A week after his death he was awarded the Military Cross.
Viscount Rothermere gave an endowment of £20,000 to the University of Oxford for the support of a Professorship of American History to bear the name of Vyvyan who was killed whilst an undergraduate. One of the conditions is that the occupant of the Chair shall be a citizen of the United States.
His brother, Vere Harmsworth, was killed on 13 November 1916 aged 21.
Lieutenant The Hon. VERE SIDNEY TUDOR HARMSWORTH
Unit Hawke Bn. R.N. Div. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Buried at ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL