Townspeople of Leominster will offer sincere congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. James Jarvis, of 35, Bargates, Leominster, who, on Whit Sunday, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding which took place in 1888 at Malta.

Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis spent the day quietly at their home surrounded by several members of their family, among those present being Mr. and Mrs. Percy Jarvis (son and daughter-in-law), Birmingham, and Miss G. Jarvis (grand-Daughter), Mr. and Mrs. Gurney (son-in-law and daughter), Sutton Coldfield, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Jarvis (son and daughter-in-law), Redditch, Miss M. Jarvis (daughter), Leominster, Miss Grace Jarvis (daughter), Cardiff, Mr. L. Jarvis (son), Wem, Mr. Austin Jarvis (son), Plymouth, Miss Pearl Jarvis (daughter), Birmingham, and Mr. Alec Lea (grandson), Leominster. Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Jarvis, of Heston, were unable to be present.

Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis were the recipients of many presents and congratulatory telegrams. These included bouquets of red carnations (and a red carnation buttonhole for Mr. Jarvis) and irises, etc., from their grandson Alec, Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Cory and Master Chris. Cory (Cardiff).

A special gold colour iced cake was made for the occasion and after tea Mrs. Simpson (Rainbow Street) sang the Golden Wedding song.

In the morning Mrs. Jarvis and several members of the family attended High Mass at the St. Ethelbert's Catholic Church. Mrs. Law was at the organ.

Of the marriage there were fourteen children (seven boys and seven girls), and twelve survive, and of the nineteen grandchildren, eighteen are alive.


Mr. Jarvis, who is the eldest of fourteen children, all of whom survive, was formerly a well known figure in Leominster, having served for 15 years as Mayor's Officer, Town Crier and Town Hall caretaker, and on his retirement in 1934 tributes were paid by members of the Town Council in regard to the tact and efficiency with which he had carried out his duties. For many years he was toll collector in the Butter Market and Corn Square and discharged this duty very faithfully. In addition to being caretaker of the Town Hall he acted as usher of the County Court, retiring from this duty only recently.

Mr. Jarvis and his family of boys have a wonderful record of service in the Army, the total number of years being in excess of 100.

Mr. Jarvis's own record is unique in many respects. He had no less than 33 years' service with the K.S.L.I. [1], extending over the Great War as well as campaigns of nearly 50 years ago. He was born at Farnborough, Hants, and on February 5th, 1880 at an early age, he enlisted at Aldershot. The regiment of his choice was the old 53rd Foot, now the 1st Battalion K.S.L.I. He made rapid progress in the Army, partly on account of his reputation as a first-class shot. He was soon made lance-corporal, then corporal in 1882, and sergeant in 1884. When serving abroad he was the best shot in the battalion, and at one time the best shot in the Mediterranean, including Gibraltar. He recalls many notable matches, including one in which the sergeants' team lowered the colours of a hitherto undefeated naval team.

Mr. Jarvis has seen service in many parts of the world and has had a variety of experiences. Early in his army career he was stationed in Dublin in the thrilling days when Cavendish Burke was assassinated in Phoenix Park. In 1882 the regiment went to Egypt, and Mr. Jarvis served through the campaign against Arabic Pasha. On January 18th, 1883, he left Egypt for Malta, and on February 27th, 1885, proceeded to the Soudan, He took part in the Suakin Campaign in which he served as sergeant major of an M.I. (mounted infantry) company. He was given this work having been attached to the 7th Dragoon Guards at Christmas, 1882, for a course of riding drill at Helouan on the Nile.

Proceeding in 1886 to Cairo he returned to Malta in 1887 and for two end a half years was Garrison Provost Sergeant. In 1889 he followed his promotion to Colour-Sergeant. Returning to Cairo in 1891 he later came to England and attended the School of Musketry at Hythe. He duly obtained his much prized certificate as a musketry instructor. On being posted to the Depot at Shrewsbury, he remained there for four years. In 1895 Mr. Jarvis came to Leominster as Colour-Sergeant-Instructor to the Leominster Volunteers, retaining this position for nearly 14 years.


With the outbreak of war in 1914, Mr. Jarvis returned to his old regiment. He rejoined on September 14th, 1914, and on the following day was promoted to Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant He saw service in France in 1915. Later in the same year he went to Salonika, and was there when he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1917. On being demobilised Mr. Jarvis was transferred to the Reserve.

Mr. Jarvis possesses an imposing array of medals. Among those he holds are the Egyptian Medal and clasp, Suakin clasp, Khedive Star, Long Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Mons 1915 Star, General Service Medal, Victory Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

Of the sons five have followed their father in the Army. The eldest, Lieut. J. Jarvis, M.C., died in Birmingham in 1932. He served in France during the war and contracted trench foot. After being in England for a time he joined the Machine Gun Corps and served as sergeant-major at Grantham, Obtaining his commission he returned to France with the K.S.L.I. and won the M.C. After the war he saw service in Ireland whore he was a District Inspector. He remained there until the Free State took over the government of the country. At the time of his death he held a position in Birmingham as first grade clerk in the civil service. The second son, Mr. Percy Jarvis, joined up in 1907, and served with the 2nd Battalion in France. He was shot in both legs and was in hospital for 12 months, undergoing about a dozen operations. He now holds a position as an overseer in the inland revenue department in Birmingham.

Mr. Cyril Jarvis served in the 2nd K.S.L.I. and on going out to the Balkans was transferred to the 8th battalion in which his father was R.Q.M.S. Mr. Arthur Jarvis served for seven years in the Marines and was invalided through an accident. The youngest boy, Austin, is still serving in the Marines.

Mr. Jarvis and his family are to be congratulated on a notable record of service to their country.

[1] Kings Shropshire Light Infantry