Officers of the 225th Parachute Field Ambulance, January 1944

Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey receiving his DSO

Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Ian Bruce Harvey


Unit : 225th Parachute Field Ambulance, RAMC

Army No. : 33854

Awards : Distinguished Service Order


Bruce Harvey had originally joined the Royal Navy as a junior officer, before joining the Scots Guards and then being posted to the West Africa Corps. He resigned from the Army and became a medical student at Edinburgh, later re-joining and serving with the 147th Field Ambulance. He was given command of the 225th Parachute Field Ambulance on the 28th June 1943.


On D-Day, he established a chirurgical aid post at the Café Gondrée, neighbouring Bénouville Bridge, and there cared for the wounded. For his actions here, during the first days of the Invasion, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. His citation reads:


On the 6th June 1944, the Field Ambulance landed by parachute in area 1274 (Ref Map France 1/25,000, Sheet 40/16). Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey after leading his unit to the neighbourhood of the site chosen for the Main Dressing Station, made a personal reconnaissance. He encountered some enemy in the building selected, took two prisoners and then established his Main Dressing Station. He organised the removal of casualties from the bridges, coming under heavy and accurate machine gun fire whilst doing so.


Again on the 7th June 1944, when his Main Dressing Station was hit by mortar fire and several men killed and wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey by his example and coolness maintained a steady flow of casualties to the treatment rooms. His Main Dressing Station was again heavily shelled on the morning of the 8th June 1944.


This officer by his outstanding courage, complete disregard of personal safety and coolness under fire was of a very high standard.


Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey later served in the 1st Airborne Division and went with them to Norway as part of the Liberation Forces in May 1945. For his services to the Norwegian people he was awarded the Freedom Cross.


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