Hervey Guy Francis Edward de Montmorency, DSO

hervey de montmorency

Irish Times 4 Aug 1979 carries a long article on de Montmorency from which I have extracted much of this information. However I cannot find him in ADRIC register. He appears to have been a low grade II undercover intelligence officer

Born the son of a British Army officer and a French Canadian mother, said to have been brought up by a bullying grandfather due to his father's long absences from home.

1868 Nov 5. Born Gibraltar son of Capt Charles Anne Law de Montmorency, Royal Engineers, Commanding 30th Company, Royal Engineers, Gibraltar and Christine Motz

1870 March. 30th Company, Royal Engineers returned to Woolwich, England from Gibraltar

1871 census montmorencey

1871 census living at Beverley Road, Beverley Villas, Holy Trinity, Colchester, County: Essex

1879 Sep 13. His father promoted and posted to Jamaica. Royal Engineers, Major Charles Anne Law de Montmorency to be Lieutenant-Colonel, vice Brevet Colonel E.Belfield.

1882 Sept. His father died. De Montmorency, C. A. L., Colonel R.E deceased Sept 1882

1883 At the age of 15 went to RMA Woolwich

1886 Jul 24. The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets, from the Royal Military Academy, to be Lieutenants. Hervey Guy Francis Edward de Montmorency, vice G. Osborn, seconded. (Youngest British Officer for 6 months)

1887 Army List. Royal Artillery, Lieutenant (Cinque Ports) de Montmorency, 1st Brigade Royal Artillery, No.1 Battery

1889 he embarked on a 7 year court case to get his hands on some property of his grandfather's that was held in Chancery.

1890 Resigned from the Army

1891 Dec 3. Rode at the Sellings Hunter’s Hurdle Race finished 3rd.at Kempton Park

1893 May 9. Sued for bankruptcy. To H. G. de Montmorency, of Boodle's Club, 28, St. James's street, S.W., and of the Sandown Park Club, of 1, St..James's-street, S.W., and lately residing at 72, Seymour street, Portman Sqnare, in the county of Middlesex. Take notice, that a Bankruptcy Petition has been presented against you to this Court by Thomas McBride, of 17, Charles Street, St. James's, in the county of Middlesex, and the Court has ordered that the publication of this notice in the London Gazette, and in the Times newspaper, shall be deemed to be service of the Petition upon you; and further take notice, that the said Petition will be heard at this. Court on the 30th day of May, 1893, at twelve o'clock at noon, on which day you are required to appear, and if you do not appear the Court may make a Receiving Order against you in your absence.

1895 Dec 7. Rode at Kempton Park

1897 Nov 14. Rode at Auteuil

1897 Dec 3. Rode at Sandown Park

1898 Jan 4. Rode at Kempton Park

1898 Feb 24. Rode at Sandown Park

1898 Sep 17. Again in Bankruptcy Court before the Official Receivers, at Carey Street de Montmorency, Hervey Guy Francis Edward is domiciled in England, but whose address the Petitioning Creditor is unable to ascertain, late residing at 7, Albany Court Yard, and then at 30, St. Ermin's Mansions, Caxton Street, both in the county of London .

1898 Apr 25. Rode the Grand National Steeplechase during a blizzard, without success, and was derided by the press.

1899 Aug 10. When the Boer War broke out, he was a supervisor in a South African mine. Although his sympathies were apparently with the Boers, he joined the Southern Rhodesian Volunteers to fight against them "for excitement". The Southern Rhodesian Volunteers were raised, trained, and equipped before war broke out. And was to be used to guard the Rhodesian frontier. Commanded by Colonel Plumer.

1899 Sept. Went to Fort Tuli on the banks of the Limpopo, one of the most fever stricken posts in Africa

1899 Oct 3. Occupied Fort Tuli (a force of 3 officers and 100 men remained there until Oct 1901 when orders were received to return to Bulawayo to be disbanded). Between 11 Oct and 25 Nov 1899 the Tuli force was very frequently engaged, a Boer force of about 1700 being opposed to them.

1899 Oct 22. there was sharp fighting at the drifts on the Crocodile River, in which Captain Blackburn was mortally wounded, Sergeant Major Young and 3 men were killed, and several were wounded.

1899 Dec. About the middle of December it was ascertained that the Boer force had retired towards the south, the Southern Rhodesian Volunteers then moved west towards the railway, which had been broken by the enemy. Took up positions on the railway, the most southern being Palapye, about 200 miles from Mafeking.

1900 Jan 14. Reached Gaberones, 100 miles farther down the line. Ten miles south of that place the Boers held a strong position.

1900 Feb 12. A clash took place. led by Major Bird with 150 men from the Rhodesian Regiment, 25 British South African Police and 25 Southern Rhodesian Volunteers. They managed to get all the way to the walls of Fort Eloff, where Capt French was shot while cutting the final strands of barbed wire At this point, it was clear that the Rhodesian attack had failed and Bird ordered a retreat. Five men had been killed in action and another five Rhodesians had been captured. The Boers, on the other hand, had sustained no casualties.

1900 Feb 16. The Boers decided to go on to the offensive.They began a concerted bombing of Rhodesian positions and planned to attack the Rhodesians on the following day by outflanking them from the west of Basuto Kop However, their element of surprise was spoilt when a Rhodesian patrol led by Lieutenant Blunt discovered them by chance at ‘Spitzkop’ in the early hours of the morning. After a sharp exchange of fire, the Rhodesians were forced to withdraw. For some reason, the Boers then decided to abort this action and returned to their positions on Sepitse.

1900 Feb 25. They did a lot of fighting before the Boers cleared out of their position. The Rhodesians occupied Sepitse Hill on 26 February and Plumer was then able to complete the repairs to the Metsimasauna bridge. For the first time in five months, armoured Rhodesian trains were able to proceed as far as Ramoutsa where the rails had been ripped up

1900 Mar 6. Recaptured Lobatsi, 60 miles from Mafeking.

1900 Mar 16. Forced to retreat back to Crocodile Pools after the Boers retook Lobatsi The Boers attacked and Lieutenant Tyler was killed and several men were wounded. Lieutenant Chapman, whose horse fell close to the enemy, was captured. After more fighting Sefetili, 30 miles northwest of Mafeking, was reached.

1900 Mar 31. They reconnoitred to within six miles of Mafeking. The enemy was found in strength, and the British mounted troops lost heavily. Colonel Plumer was wounded on the arm. Forced to retreat after a severe fight at Ramathlabama. The small contingent at Crocodile Pools was responsible for guarding the railway and for organising supplies to and from Plumer’s Column and later Mafeking, but otherwise they saw no further action

1900 Aug 8. 80 Rhodesian Volunteers at Eland's River (between Rustenburg and Zeerust)

1900 Aug. He was involved in the retreat from Rustenburg and saw that every building on the road north to Commando Nek was burned to the ground.

1900 Sep. The end of Sept 1900, the year for which the Rhodesian men were engaged expired, and they were disbanded. He later received The Queen's South Africa (QSA), 3 Medal Clasps: Relief of Mafeking, Transvaal, and Rhodesia

1900 Oct 7. He left South Africa for England. The Aurania left Cape Town for England on October 7, having on board 49 officers, 2 warrant officers, 1,284 men of the City Imperial Volunteers and also a number of other officers including ...H de Montmorency

1900 Oct 19. St Vincent reports the arrival of the Aurania at 6 55 am.

1900 Oct 27 Arrives back in England.

1901 Jun 20. He writes a letter to the Daily News from 6 Duke St, London in which he mentions having seen Farm Burning being used as a tool by the British against the Boer

1903 May Joined a group on a chartered steamer to seek treasure in the Cocos Islands. They found nothing

1904 Oct 12. Hervey Guy de Montmorency aged 35, departed Liverpool for Panama to join the Yacht ‘Rose Maurice’ at Panama via New York on the SS ‘Teutonic’ occupation listed as Stock Broker, Nationality Irish, (paid for his own ticket, in possession of more than 50 pounds). Geoffrey Marston Gilling, 29, Stoke Broker, English same destination. They went treasure hunting, without success, in the Cocos Islands.

1905/1906. This was followed by a years fruitless drilling for oil in Georgia with a patent "Oil Detector"

1907. On his return to Britain, he married Evelyn Buchanan (Daughter of the late Rev A Buchanan, Old Rectory, Finchampstead). They had no children.

1910 Rates listing. Mrs Evelyn de Montmorency, 51 Cambridge Place, Rateable Value £102

1910 Mar 8. He seconded a resolution as part of the ‘Abe Bailey Group’ promoting the merger of Kaffirs Consolidated Investment and Land Company, The Salisbury Building and Estates Company, and the Salisbury and Districts Merchants and Developments Company. Capital guaranteed by the Amalgamated Properties of Rhodesia and the British and Colonial Investments.

1910 Nov 13. Letter to Guardian about Unionist extremists, written from 51 Cambridge Terrace.

1911 Apr 9. Arrived at Avonmouth from Kingstown Jamaica via Santa Marta. Mr & Mrs Montmorency, travelling First Class on the ‘Arcataca’ had embarked at Kingstown. Mr Montmorency’s nationality is stated as Irish on the manifest.

1911. He ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate for South Paddington in the London County Council elections

1911. He discovered Ireland and Irish nationalism, and joined the United Irish League. He reportedly declined Redmond's offer of the chairmanship of the London branch.

1913 He decided to go and live in Ireland for the first time in his life. He lived in the country in Wicklow, and had a Dublin house at 16 Hatch St.

1914 Mar 20. Present at the Nationalist Council of War during the Curragh Mutiny

1914 He was involved in Howth gun running, being on the Chotah the powered yacht owned by the protestant nationalist Sir Thomas Myles. Landed them at Kilcoole, Co Wicklow. Cotah was manned by her owner Sir Thomas Myles, James Creed Meredith, Captain Hervey de Montmorency, Dermot Coffye, and two Limerick sailor’s Thomas Fitzgibbons and George Cahill. A yacht called the Kelpie sailed from Ireland and stopped at Cowes, where it was joined by Hervey de Montmorency,described as a wealthy friend of O’Brien, who came to serve as an extra hand. That evening, de Montmorency regaled them all with tales of treasure hunts in the Cocos Islands and exotic knife-fights in South Africa. The impact of such stories was somewhat dented when ‘the bold buccaneer’ arose during the night, complaining that he couldn’t sleep because the cabin clock ticked too loud. He then disembarked, checked into a hotel and, the following day, with no sign or word of Asgard, he disappeared. The Kelpie went on to Belgiium without him, and there picked up her cargo of rifles.

The Kelpie returned to Ireland and rendvoused with the Chotah of the Welsh coast to unload some of her guns. By now Hervey de Montmorency had returned to Ireland, and joined the crew of the Chotah. Tom Myles sailed Chotah across to Kish 1st August. During a rain-swept night a flotilla of small fishing boats came out to collect the guns.The job of getting the guns onto the shingle beach was complete within three or four hours.

Having delivered her cargo, Chotah berthed at Kingstown. When De Montmorency went out to collect the newspapers the next day, the headlines annonced the start of WW1. He served with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers before transferring to an artillery unit.

1914 Sep 14 Resigned as Commander of the Wicklow brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Applied to General Fitzmaurice at the Curragh for command of a company in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. General Fitzmaurice has been a friend during his time in the Army. He joined 7th battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. However he was not happy either with the men in his company "Larkinite dockers", nor the fact the fact that the battalion were going to Gallipoli, whereas he wanted to fight Germans.

Letter, from Hervey de Montmorency (b1868 – d1942) [former Inspector or Commander, Wicklow Brigade, Irish Volunteers], Ballybrack, Co. Dublin. He is sorry he cannot take over the Belfast Volunteers, ‘it is quite out of the question’. He is joining the Dublin Fusiliers as a Captain and hopes to be sent to the front. He is ‘utterly sick’ of the Volunteers, who have no officers and submit to a ‘contemptible crew of leaders’. Money is spent paying the expenses of ‘crazy creatures’ who make ‘bloodthirsty speeches’. The Volunteers missed the ‘greatest opportunity’ when they failed to back up John Redmond’s speech. He shudders to think what Home Rule means under the leadership of McNeill and O’Rahilly. Concludes, ‘it is better to be a captain in the British army than a Field Marshal in the Irish Volunteer

1915 Feb 2. Battalion moved to the Royal Barracks, Dublin. de Montmorency H G F E to be 2nd Lieutenant with the 7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers

1915 Feb 16. de Montmorency H G F E to be Temporary Captain (Sept 21) 7th Battalion (Service) Royal Dublin Fusiliers

1915 Mar 2. He got a transfer to the Artillery on the strength of his earlier service, and was a front line officer for the rest of the war. Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery. The undermentioned to be temporary Captain. Temporary Captain H. de Montmorency, from 7th (Service) Battalion, The Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Temporary Lieutenant

1915 Aug 31. Landed in France (Medal Card Captain and Major (Staff Officer)

1915 Sep. 4th London Brigade, joined 36th (Ulster) Division

1915 Dec 12. 4th London (Howitzer) Brigade transferred to 38th (Welsh) Division

1916 Jan 3. 4th London (Howitzer) Brigade moved to the Dismounted Cavalry Division

1916 Jan 27. 4th London (Howitzer) Brigade with the 47th Division

1916 Feb 26. 4th London (Howitzer) Brigade rejoined 56th (1st London) Division

1916 May 1. Temp. Capt. H. F. de Montmorency, R.F.A., to be temp. Maj.

1916 May 11. 4th London (Howitzer) Brigade re-designated Numbered CCLXXXIII (Howitzer)

1916 Oct Army List. Temporary Captain de Montmorency H  F,  DSO. 4th London (Howitzer) Brigade. No.1 Battery

1917 Feb 24. Temp. Capt.(temp. Maj.) H. F. De Montmorency, R.F.A., relinquishes his temp, rank of Maj. on ceasing to command a battery

1917 May 17. Temp. Capt. H. F. De Montmorency, R.F.A., to be actg. Maj. whilst in command of a battery.

1917 Oct 18. D.S.O. gazetted. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in rallying his men after his battery had  been heavily shelled for seven hours and his guns buried, and in getting three into action again. His men were driven back from the guns several times; but he worked himself to restore confidence. During this time he was practically crippled, having seriously twisted his knee by falling into a shell-hole. (He has a wound stripe in the photo).

1918 Mar 5. DSO citation gazetted

1918 Jul 12. The undermentioned Special Appointments are made:CL BB.—Temp. Maj. H. G. F. E. de Montmorency, D.S.O., R.A.

1919 Jan 7. Croix de Guerre, avec Etoile en Argent. Temporary Major Hervey Guy Francis Edward de Montmorency, D.S.O.  Royal Artillery.

1919 Jan 9. Major H G F E de Montmorency, Staff Officer RA Applies for 1914-15 medal. (Liaison Officer, Inspecteur Général d'Artillerie, G.Q.G. French Army). Living at 34 Clifton Hill, NW8

1919 Apt 26. Relinquishes his special appointment.

1919 He returned briefly to Ireland, but found that his old friends considered him to be a traitor to Ireland. So he returned to England

1920 Nov. Offered his services as an Intelligence officer in ADRIC, but was only appointed a Temporary Cadet. In London General Jolune Du Cane had asked him to take on special service, but this never materialised. Later worked as an Intelligence Officer with ‘F’ Company of the ADRIC in Dublin, aged 53. I cannot verify this, he was not in ADRIC

1921 Jan 14. His file does show a re-commissioning and a Grade II appointment Special Appointment grade II, not advertised in London Gazette. This was the lowest grade of Army Intelligence operative in Dublin at this time

1921 May 21. He was appointed Intelligence officer for Athlone in Westmeath. I cannot verify this, I think it must refer to his Cl II appointment in the army on re-commissioning - this is nothing to do with the ADRIC, who had no men based in Athlone. His colleague there was a former agent of the USA Pinkerton's agency, the American detective methods were abandoned as unsatisfactory. He claimed that he warned Colonel Lambert that there was intelligence about  the danger he was in. Lambert was killed in an attack on 20 Jun 1921, as he returned from a Tennis party.

1921 Jul 2. Burning of 2 farm houses at Coosan, Westmeath. I found a reference linking him with the order to burn these houses, but cannot substantiate it.

1921 Jul 21. Soon after the truce he left Ireland for good. I cannot verify this, but re-commissioning on his file was only till June 1921

1923 Jan 23. Wrote to the War Office wanting a job as a liaison officer with the French. A noncommittal reply from War Office

1926 Feb 3. Attended the Irish Club Dinner at the Irish Club, London.

1926 Feb 23. His sister died in Jersey

1926 Mar 27. Radio broadcast on the London Station ‘What I saw of the Grand National’

1930 May 17. Attended a Mafeking Reunion Dinner at Lord Paden Powell’s county house at Paxhill, Bentley, Hampshire

1931 Dec 9. Letter to The Times - Has France Forgotten, The French contribution in the Great War in a positive way.

1932 May 19. Letter to The Times ‘Arthur’s Club, 69 St Jame’s Street, SW1’, The Racing Seat

1932 Jun 1. Letter to The Times ‘Arthur’s Club, 69 St Jame’s Street, SW1’, Riding over Fences

1935 Oct 25. Letter to The Times, Lord Carson

1936 Jan 8. Letter to The Times ‘Arthur’s Club, 69 St James Street, SW1’. The Eyesight of Birds. Mentions being in Central America and the Cocos Islands

1936 March. Published ‘Sword & Stirrup’ He wrote an autobiography

1939 Feb 21. Letter to The Times. Detective Stories. Reflects on French Detective Stories.

1939 Mar 24. Presented to the French President at the National Gallery Reception as part of the Anglo-French Luncheon Club   

1942 Sep 2. Died at Bramblehurst, Hunsdon Road, Torquay

1942 Sep 7. Funeral held at St John’s Church, Torquay,

1973 May 11. Evelyn de Montmorency died in Torbay Devon (Born 13 Aug 1876)  . She had been living at Brerley, St Matthews Road,Torquay. She left £28,265


WO 339/19202