Jesse Harvey

Date of birth: 1879
Place of birth: Pwllcrochan, Pembrokeshire
Regiment: Canadian
Battalion: 31st
Rank / Service No: Private, 79767
Died: 27th September 1916, aged 37 years
Buried: Courcelette British Cemetery, France (Plot III, Row G, Grave 25)


Jesse was the youngest of 5 siblings born to Jesse and Sarah Harvey (nee Stone), who married in Axbridge, Somerset in 1856.


There is evidence of the family being in Southampton; Jesse was at school in the city at the 1891 Census and Sarah was living in Portswood with at least 2 of the children at the 1901 Census.


Jesse Snr., a farmer of 845 acres, was born in Somerset in 1832 and he died in Winchester in 1888.

Sarah was also born in Somerset, in 1838, and she passed away in Southampton in 1910.



John Stone   b. 1857 Axbridge   d. 1878 Pembrokeshire

Alice Maria   b. 1860 Axbridge   d. 1915 Southampton

William Merson   b. 1861 Axbridge d. 12 May 1931 Bishopstoke   Married Mary Churches in Axbridge in 1886. Married Eliza A. Bailey in Winchester in 1889.

Sarah Stone   b. 1867 Glastonbury   d. 1939 Barnet   Married Thomas Henry Wakefield in Portswood in 1892.



The battalion arrived in England in the summer of 1915 for training, before disembarking in France in the spring of 1916 under the orders of the 6th Infantry Brigade in the 2nd Division.


It must be assumed that the battalion was training near Southampton and Jesse just happened to be assigned to them…there is no obvious link with Canada.


Available War Diaries show that the 31st Canadian battalion had 60 men killed, 209 wounded and 113 missing between 25-29th September 1916 when based at Courcelette.


There is a good chance that Jesse was one of many who were wounded on 26 September, after heavy German shelling in the vicinity.


There is a memorial near Courcelette to commemorate the actions of the Canadian Corps in the final two and half months of the Somme offensive.


The cemetery holds 1,970 Commonwealth WW1 burials.


Jesse’s headstone reads: “ Deeply mourned.”




Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th September 2016


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