John Harvey AKA Ex-Legionnaire 1384, Operator 1384

Legion CavalrymanJohn Henry Harvey was an Englishman (real name David Harvey John Jones) in the French Foreign Legion who, along with Bennett Doty (an American) and two Germans, deserted the Legion in Syria in 1926.  He was captured but eventually allowed to leave the Foreign Legion after enough diplomatic and political pressure was made to bear on the French Army.  Like his comrade Bennett Doty, Harvey also wrote a book about his exploits in the 1st Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment (1er REC) in Syria.  His book, With the French Foreign Legion in Syria, was published in 1928.

I mention Harvey because I discovered a great write up of him at the fantastic blog known as Bear Alley.  Steve, the Bear Alley proprietor, is a literal fountain of knowledge on British comics, books and magazines.  He wrote two posts related to John Harvey that I found to be extremely informative and useful to me as a book collector.  I often saw references to books written by “Ex-Legionnaire 1384”.  Liberty magazine had a long serial about the “Hell Hounds” of the Foreign Legion penned by Ex-Legionnaire 1348.  I had a hunch that #1348 was Harvey but I had no reference saying so.  Harvey also wrote many of his books in collaboration with William J. Blackledge who also wrote several of his own Foreign Legion books in other pen names.  To further confuse me there were some books written by Francis A. Waterhouse that were also attributed to Legionnaire 1484.  Thanks to Steve at Bear Alley for his informative posts that sort this all out–links to them are below as well as a short bibliography of both Harvey and Blackledge.

Escape from the Legion Part 1.

Escape from the Legion Part 2.

William J. Blackledge

Books by John Harvey
With the French Foreign Legion in Syria. London, Hutchinson & Co., 1928. Greenhill, 1995
John Harvey Books as Ex-Legionnaire 1384
Hell Hounds of France, in collaboration with W. J. Blackledge. London, 1932.
Zillah: Child of the Desert, with W. J. Blackledge. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1932.
With the Secret Service in Morocco, as told to W. J. Blackledge. London, 1934.
Legion of the Lost, in collaboration with Anton Lind. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1934.
The Soulless Legion, in collaboration with W. J. Blackledge. London, Denis Archer, 1934.
The Arab Patrol. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1935.
The Desert Patrol. London & Dublin, Mellifont Press, 1935.
Spies of the Sahara. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1936.
The Son of Allah. London, Rich & Cowan, Jan 1937.
The Mutiny of Fort Saada. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1937.
Eater of Women by W. J. Blackledge, in collaboration with Ex-Legionnaire 1384. London, T. Werner Laurie, 1938.
John Harvey Books as Operator 1384:
The Devil’s Diplomats. London, Hutchinson & Co., Jun 1935.
The Catacombs of Death [ghosted by A. Whatoff Allen]. London, Hutchinson & Co., Jan 1936.
The White Tuareg, London, Rich & Cowan, Feb 1936.
The Scourge of the Desert. London, Rich & Cowan, Sep 1936.
Queen of the Riffs. London, John Long, 1937.
The Black Arab. London, Rich & Cowan, 1937.
Jackals of the Secret Service. London, Rich & Cowan, 1938.
The Last Outpost. London, Rich & Cowan, 1938.
Spies and Rebels. London, Rich & Cowan, 1939.
McCann of the Legion, London, Cassell & Co., Sep 1939.
McCann the Spy. London, Cassell & Co., Feb 1940.
McCann the Fighter. London, Cassell & Co., 1941.
McCann the Rebel. London, Cassell & Co., 1941.
John Harvey books as John Barrington (series: Ken Williams in all):
Murder in White Pit. London, John Langdon, 1947.
The Moving Finger. London, John Langdon, 1947.

William J. Blackledge Books
Hell’s Broth Militia. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1936.
The Legion of Marching Madmen. London, Sampson Low & Co., 1936.
Lovers in the Desert. London, Heath, Cranton, 1936.
A Girl in the Spy Racket. London, T. Werner Laurie, 1939.
Give the Lady a Camel. London, W. P. Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell, 1948.
William J. Blackledge Books as Terry Brennan
Death Squads in Morocco, as told to W. J. Blackledge. London, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937.
William J. Blackledge Books as Patrolman Craven
Hell Riders. An account of the Irak Desert Patrol, as told to W. J. Blackledge. London, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1935.
William J. Blackledge Books as Digger Craven
Peninsula of Death, as told to W. J. Blackledge. London, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937.

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About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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2 Responses to John Harvey AKA Ex-Legionnaire 1384, Operator 1384

  1. Eugene Olivier says:

    Not mentioned in your list above is FIVE SOUS A DAY by Francis Waterhouse. I have it as well as DEATH SQUADS IN MOROCCO.
    I find it odd that John Harvey (AKA his other nom de plumes….. or should that be noms de plume) should be tagged as Legionnaire 1384. That’s a pretty low number considering the Legion was already a hundred years old at the time he served in it. What do you think.?
    Eugene

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    • Jack Wagner says:

      I was saving Francis Waterhouse for another day. I recently acquired Sands of Destiny and it looks to be a very good account of Waterhouse’s own experiences in Syria. Waterhouse authored several books that I’ve added to my wish list (see below). How is Five Sous a Day? This sounds like a great book on the classic Foreign Legion–that and Cafard. As for Harvey I suspect they simply recycle numbers. Rosen’s matricule number was 17889 in 1911. David Wooster King’s was 8046 in WWI.

      Bloodspots in the Sand. Further pages from the life of F. A. Waterhouse-Ex-Légionnaire 1484-as told to Roger Wimbush

      Cafard Athors R. Kenneth Macaulay, Francis Arthur Waterhouse
      Publisher Low, Marston, 1932
      Length 314 pages

      Desert Reprieve. A Novel of the Foreign Legion
      Author Francis Arthur Waterhouse
      Published 1937

      Oasis. A Romance of the French Foreign Legion
      Title Oasis. A Romance of the French Foreign Legion
      Author Francis Arthur Waterhouse
      Published 1932

      Twixt Hell and Allah. [By] Ex-Légionnaire No. 1484, F.A. Waterhouse, of the Légion Étrangère. In Collaboration with R. Kenneth Macaulay. [With Plates.].
      Authors Francis Arthur WATERHOUSE, R. Kenneth MACAULAY
      Publisher London, 1931
      Length 274 pages

      Desert Destiny
      Author Francis Arthur Waterhouse
      Publisher Sampson Low & Company, 1933
      Length 312 pages

      A Rebel in the Legion: Being the Story of the Life and Adventures in the French Foreign Legion of James O’Donovan

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