James Henry HARVEY

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HARVEY, James Henry

Service Number: 789
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 8th Infantry Battalion
Born: Norwich, England, 1885
Home Town: Armadale, Stonnington, Victoria
Schooling: Old Catton, Norwick England
Occupation: Tram Motorman
Died: Killed in action, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915
Cemetery: Shell Green Cemetery
II I II
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, SN 789, 8th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
19 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, SN 789, 8th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Melbourne

Help us honour James Henry Harvey's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

James Henry Harvey, born in 1885, of Norwich, England, was appointed as a conductor in the Norwich City Tramways on 25 May 1906, and subsequently trained as a driver but did not obtain a permanent appointment as such.

He was brought up a staunch Methodist, and married in England and had two children. Unfortunately, he became estranged from his wife, and decided to immigrate to Australia, resigning from Norwich City Tramways on 12 April 1913.

Relations of his mother had previously immigrated to Australia and had settled in the township of Colac, Victoria. James stayed with the family while he applied for a job as motorman with the Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust (PMTT).

He landed the job – no doubt helped by his Methodism, as the PMTT (and all the municipal tramways trusts) favoured Protestant employees, unlike the Victorian Railways, which was a stronghold of Catholicism. Discrimination on religious grounds, for employment and many other matters, was an active practice in Australian society at the time.

James was issued with PMTT badge number 65, and he moved to 40 Kelvin Road, Armadale, not far from Malvern Depot, the only PMTT tram depot at the time.

On 4 August, the British Empire declared war on the German Empire. James, a loyal British subject, joined up at Surrey Hills on 14 August 1914 as one of the earliest Australian volunteers. He was given regimental number 789 and assigned to B Company of the 8th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.

James was killed in action on the evening of 25-26 April 1915 after less than one day in combat. He was buried in an isolated gravesite at the top of Clarke’s Gully, ½ mile south of Anzac Cove. This site was to remain close to the front line for the entire duration of the Gallipoli campaign. After the war, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission exhumed his body and moved it to the Shell Green Cemetery, ¼ of a mile away.

Information edited from Melbourne Tram Museum Website.

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