Mr Harvey Collyer
Mr Harvey Collyer, 31, was born on 26 November 1880.
A resident of 25 Church Road, Mount Hill, Bishopstoke, Hampshire, Mr Collyer boarded the Titanic at Southampton with his wife Charlotte and daughter Marjorie.
Mr Collyer had four brothers, his twin brother Walter, George and William who, like Harvey, was an epileptic.
Harvey Collyer ran a grocery store in Bishopstoke. He was apparently well liked by the townspeople. He was the verger and for a time was a parish clerk of the local church, St Mary's. He was also in charge of the bells. His wife Charlotte was in service with the vicar Revd. S N Sedgwick.
Friends of the family had gone to Payette, Idaho several years before and made a success of the fruit farm they bought there. They wrote glowing accounts of the climate to the Collyers and advised them to come seek their fortune in Idaho. The Collyers did not seriously consider the proposition until Mrs Collyer began having lung problems (she suffered with Tuberculosis), at which point they decided to buy a farm in the same valley as their friends in America (Mrs Collyer later felt guilty that it was her own health problems that eventually caused the death of her husband.)
The next morning the Collyers went to Southampton, where Mr Collyer drew from the bank the family's life savings (including the money from the sale of their store in Bishopstoke.) He took the money in banknotes instead of a draft, and put the money in the inside breast pocket of his coat. In the Titanic's hold were the few personal possessions that the family had kept after the sale of their home -- which meant that everything the Collyers owned was on board the Titanic.
Harvey wrote to his parents as the ship approached Queenstown:
When the Titanic collided with the iceberg Harvey went up on deck to find out what had happenned, he reported back to his wife: 'What do you think? We've struck an iceberg - a big one - but there's no danger. An officer told me so!'
The news would have roused Mrs Collyer, but the dinner that night had been too rich. So she just asked her husband if anybody seemed frightened, and when he said no, she lay back again in her bunk (Lord 1976).
Charlotte and Marjorie were rescued in lifeboat 14 but Harvey Collyer died in the sinking.
Mrs Collyer and little Marjorie were absolutely destitute when they reached New York, but Mrs Collyer decided to continue on to Payette to start a new life like her late husband had wanted to do, eventually however she returned to England where she remarried.
A memorial to him was erected in St Marys Church, Bishopstoke, Eastleigh. In the form of a magnificent notice board that is well used and looked after to this day, the inscription reads:
Philip Hind (Editor)
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Name: Mr Harvey Collyer
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