The AIF Project

John Balfour HARVEY

Regimental number3043
Place of birthCygnet, Tasmania
SchoolState School and Hutchins School, Hobart, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationOrchardist
AddressCygnet, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23.5
Height5' 6"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, Robert Harvey, Cygnet, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 September 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll9 September 1916
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name40th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/57/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 10 February 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll40th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1918
Place of death or woundingBony, near St Quentin, France
Age at death25
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
132
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Eliza HARVEY, Cygnet, Tasmania
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 10 February 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 2 May 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 30 August 1917; taken on strength, 40th Bn, in the field, 13 September 1917.

Detached to 10th Brigade Signal School, 31 January 1918; rejoined Bn, 22 March 1918.

On leave to United Kingdom, 8 August 1918; rejoined Bn from leave, 25 September 1918.

Killed in action, 29 September 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSecond given name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as Balford.
SourcesNAA: B2455, HARVEY John Balfour
Red Cross File 1290310G

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