Alexander James Harvey

Date of birth: 1896
Place of birth: Bassett, Southampton
Regiment: Dorsetshire
Battalion: 5th
Rank / Service No: Private, 13342
Died: 1st October 1916, aged 20 years
Buried: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France (Plot VIII, Row C, Grave 163)

 

Alexander was the third of 4 siblings born to James and Emily Eliza Harvey (nee Lee), who married in Portswood in 1892.

 

Emily was born in 1866 in Guildford and she passed away in Southampton in 1924.

James was born in Bassett in 1868 and he remarried in 1933, strangely, to an Elizabeth R. Harvey !

 

James died in the New Forest in 1961, at the age of 93 years.

 

The family lived at 1 Oak Cottages, Bassett Green.

 

Siblings

Emily May   b. 1893 Bassett   d. 1960 Southampton   Married Walter G. Henbest in Portswood in 1915.

Ethel Lilian   b. 1894 Bassett   d. 1967 Southampton   Married Albert Brooks in Portswood in 1918.

Alexander James 

Victor Charles   b. 1909 Bassett   d. ??   Married Gladys Beatrice Rawlins in Eastleigh in 1931.

 

 

On 28 August 1914, the newly formed 5th Dorsets went to Grantham for training, as part of the 11th (Northern) Division.

After 6 months training, they moved to Hindhead and joined the 34th Brigade, which was destined for Gallipoli.

 

On 11 July 1915, the 5th landed at Suvla Bay on the peninsular. In the next 6 months, they lost relatively few to fighting but many more to sickness.

 

Evacuated in January 1916, the Battalion redeployed to Egypt where they remained for 6 months, digging defences against an expected Turkish attack which never came.

 

In July 1916 the Battalion went to France, joining VI Corps in the Third Army. Although the Somme offensive had begun on 1 July, the battalion first went into the line in a quieter sector south of Arras.

 

In September the battalion moved south, to Mouquet Farm, just below Thiepval. This proved to be a bloody introduction to the Somme.

 

The farm was partly held by the Germans, huge numbers of whom occupied a vast dugout below it. In this action, and the attack that followed, two thirds of the 5th were killed or wounded.

 

There is a good chance that Alexander was one of the many wounded who was transferred to the hospital centre in Boulogne, where he subsequently died.

 

Alexander’s headstone reads: “ In God’s keeping ‘til we meet. From his loving father & mother.”

 

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th September 2016
Updated:

 

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