011 – Private Alexander Almer Harvey

Private Alexander Almer Harvey Killed in action
17 January 1917

In mid-January 1917, the 40th Battalion moved from Houplines to the trenches at Bois Grenier. On 14th January the 40th Battalion relieved the 38th Battalion. A heavy snow fall the next day made patrolling very difficult, if not impossible, given that the men had no white clothing in which to disguise themselves. The Battalion diary also records that their trenches were subject to active shelling which blew in several fire bays.

There is no mention of casualties in the Battalion diary for this period. Frank Green though, in his history of the 40th Battalion states that ‘on the 19th January the enemy registered the whole of D company sector with minnenwerfer and caused several casualties and much damage.’ Was Private Alexander Harvey one of the ‘several casualties’ referred to? Certainly Private Alexander Harvey who had enlisted in March 1916 was serving with D Company, 40th Battalion at this time

It was left up to the Reverend H M Knuckey to convey to the sad news to Alexander and Eleanor Harvey that their youngest son would not be coming home but had been buried in the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery at Armentieres, France.