Sir George Byng Harman
Helen Tonge
Alexander Rowsay Harman


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Sarah Janet Pitcairn Sandlands

Alexander Rowsay Harman

  • Born: 27 Sep 1877, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire
  • Marriage: Sarah Janet Pitcairn Sandlands on 22 Nov 1913 in St Ethelburga Bishopsgate, City of London
  • Died: 12 Apr 1954, Marylebone, , Middlesex, England aged 76

bullet  General Notes:

Entered the Army in 1897, commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on 27th October and posted to the Rifle Brigade. Promoted to Lieutenant on 16th November, 1899 and Captain on 22 January, 1902.

Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade in the Sudan Campaign of 1898. He served in the Nile Expedition and was present with the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade at the Battles of Omdurman and Khartoum. Entitled to the Sudan Medal and the Khedive's Medal with Khartoum clasp.

He served again with 2nd Battalion in South Africa during the Boer War from 1899 to 1901, taking part in the operations in Natal, including the actions at Lombard's Kop in 1899, Defense of Ladysmith, including the engagements of 6th January, and further operations in Natal from March to June, 1900, including the actions at Laing's Nek from 6th to 9th June. In addition, he served in Transvaal east of Pretoria from July, 1900 to July, 1901, being present at the actions at Belfast on the 26th and 27th of August and at Lydenberg from 5th to 8th September. On 6th January 1900, he was swept away by the current and nearly drowned while attempting to cross the Klip River at Ladysmith. Transport Contractor J. Wilson managed to rescue him (Wilson was awarded the Royal Humane Society Bronzed Medal for his actions). Brought to notice by Lord Kitchener in his dispatch of 28th July, 1901, "for exceptional good work with transport in April and May in operations north of Middleburg" (L.G., 20th August, 1901) and mentioned in a dispatch from Lord Roberts on 4th September, 1901, of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men "who, with their various units, have rendered special and meritorious service" (L.G., 10th September, 1901). Entitled to Queen's South Africa Medal with three clasps.

Appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of Queensland from 5th February, 1902 to 15th February, 1905, returning to the Regiment in India that same year. Appointed Adjutant, 2nd Battalion from 29th November, 1907 to 1910. Stations included Chanbattia and Calcutta.

Retired as Captain, 22nd February, 1913 and placed on the Reserve of Officer's List.

Recalled at the outbreak of the Great War; promoted (temp) Lieutenant-Colonel, 7th November, 1914, Major, 1st September, 1915 and commanded the 1st/7th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment (TF) in the 144th Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division from 1st April 1915 to 16th February, 1917, when he was appointed to command the 4th Army Infantry School till the following August. Afterwards, he served for a year on Staff (temp. Brigadier-General, 6th September, 1917) of the 114th Infantry Brigade from 19th August, 1917 to 9th August, 1918.

Service in France and Belgium from 1st April, 1915, when the 7th Worcesters landed at Boulogne until the 9th August, 1918. Promoted to Colonel (Territorial Force) in November, 1918.

During his Great War service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) for gallant conduct at Ovilliers, specifically in recognition of his "excellent handling of his Battalion, notably when clearing the enemy trenches with great determination during several consecutive days." (L.G., 20th October, 1916). The D.S.O. directory notes his award was made "for gallantry on 17-19 July and 20-21st Aug, 1916." He was five times Mentioned in Despatches, most notably by Field Marshal J.D.P. French and General Sir Douglas Haig "for gallant and distinguished service" in their dispatches gazetted 1st January and 15th June, 1916; 4th June, 1917; 20th May, 1918 and 11th June, 1920.

In 1918, he was created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

Retired in 1920 with the Honorary rank of Brigadier-General. His older brother, Major George Malcolm Nixon Harman, D.S.O., also served with the 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade and was killed in action at Lavente, France on 27th November, 1914.

He died in London on 12th April, 1954 at the age of 76.


Alexander married Sarah Janet Pitcairn Sandlands, daughter of Reverend John Poole Sandlands and Janet Pitcairn Simpson, on 22 Nov 1913 in St Ethelburga Bishopsgate, City of London. (Sarah Janet Pitcairn Sandlands was born Q1 1870 in Thrapston, Northampton, England, Great Britain and died Q3 1959 in Kensington, London.)

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