The AIF Project

Arthur Oscar HARVEY

Regimental number1152
Place of birthWandsworth, London, England
SchoolBoard School, London, England
Age on arrival in Australia16
ReligionChurch of England
AddressOsford Road, Scone, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, George Alfred Harvey, 555 York Road, Wandsworth, London, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date8 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name34th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/51/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 2 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll34th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Annie HARVEY, 64 Whitstable Road, Canterbury, Kent, England. Native of Wandsworth, London

Military Medal

'On the night of 17th/18th May, 1917, during a heavy bombardment and a hostile raid on LE TOUQUET Sector, this soldier showd gret bravery and devotion to duty. With his Officer, Lieutenant McLEOD, he attacked and wounded the foremost man of the raiders causing them to retreat, using a Lewis gun with effect on them as they retired, and causing many casualties. His prompt action and courage played a leading part in the repulse of the raid.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 2906B Pte William HARVEY, 2nd Bn, discharged, 13 March 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 2 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, 23 June 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Brigade commander 'has pleasure in highly commending this soldier. This man accompanied Lt McLeod on the night of 17/18th May, 1917 during enemy bombardment. When telephonic communications were severed, he undertook to go overland to the Coy on the left with a message and during the forward and return journey he was exposed to heavy shell fire; by this courageous act valuable information was obtained by the two Companies concerned. On this Sector the barraage was most severe. It was dark and the route was unfamiliar and yet he got back the required information in wonderfully short time.'

Treated at 11th Field Ambulance, 22 May 1917 (defective vision); rejoined unit, 27 May 1917.

Awarded the Military Medal, 25 May 1917.

Wounded in action, 6 June 1917; admitted to 56th General Hospital, Etaples, 8 June 1917; rejoined unit, 10 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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