The annual Melville Watts Memorial Lecture was held on Thursday 3rd October 2013 at the Annexe Venue in Lydney; Grant Repshire of the Gloucestershire Archives and University of Exeter presented The FW Harvey Papers: Unlocking Gloucestershire’s Literary Heritage, Reflections on his Life and Work. One year into his remarkable project of archiving the papers of FWH, Grant set out the breadth and meaning of this fabulous collection.
FW Harvey was mainly acknowledged as a famous poet but the papers reveal the true extent of his BBC broadcasting career and wider literary output. In addition to his interest in the arts Will Harvey continued a legal career for much of his life.
This presentation included a brief resumé of Will Harvey’s life story and how these papers came to light. We heard of new biographical information revealed by the papers. There was information about Will Harvey’s lost essays and his correspondence from Ivor Gurney, Marion Scott, Herbert Howells and his network of old comrades from the First World War. Grant described the scrapbooks and letters that give an insight into how FW Harvey developed his beliefs and convictions.
The annual lecture that hosted this presentation is a memorial to Melville Watts, an early member and supporter of the Society who promoted the life and work of F.W. Harvey throughout his life.
Note: Kansas native Grant Repshire received a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Kansas in 2005. Following graduation he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. Trained as a cavalry officer and paratrooper, he was assigned to the famed 82nd Airborne Division, seeing active service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He left the army in late 2010 at the rank of Captain. In 2013 he received an MA in history from the University of Exeter. He is now studying at Exeter for a PhD in English through a REACT studentship ‘The Papers of FW Harvey’, which is a collaborative project also involving the Gloucestershire Archives and the FW Harvey Estate.