Playing Cards Property of Captain H E Olivey


Playing cards property of Captain H E Olivey

Two sets of regimental playing cards in a monogrammed bag, the property of Capt H E Olivey, killed in action in Somaliland on 17 April 1903 while on attachment to the King’s African Rifles.


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MedalHerbert Edward Olivey was born on 18 January 1871, the son of Col Sir William Rice Olivey of the Army Pay Department. He was commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment from the Militia on 4 October 1890, promoted Lieutenant on 30 May 1896 and Captain 24 February 1900. In June 1899 he was seconded to the 2nd Central Africa Regiment, which in 1901 became the 2nd Battalion the King’s African Rifles. While with them he took part in the campaign in Somaliland against tribes supporting the ‘Mad Mullah’.


It was during this campaign that he was killed, on 17 April 1903 in an action at Gumburroo. A column led by Col Plunkett, consisting of 160 of the 2nd King’s African Rifles, 48 of the 2nd Sikhs and two Maxim guns, were attacked at close quarters by a large force of horseman and footmen. The party stood its ground and fought desperately until its ammunition was exhausted: 171 were killed, Olivey among them.


He was awarded the Africa General Service Medal with the clasps ‘Gambia’ and ‘Somaliland 1903-1904’.


Olivey’s brother had been killed in action at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan in 1880.

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