William Charles HARVEY

This is a copy of the biography I created for his entry in wiki tree. This is also week 2 for the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.


Birth and early life

Bill Harvey was born on 29 January 1923 in Subiaco, Western Australia[1] to Harry Charles Harvey and Esther Muriel Langridge, the second son of four children. At that time, his parents lived with his paternal grandmother Annie Harvey in Geraldton[2], it is likely that his mother travelled to Subiaco, a suburb of the capital city Perth to give birth. as the two largest hospitals where women commonly gave birth were both located there. His family continued to live in Geraldton though no longer in his grandmother’s house[3], but by 1937, they had moved to the capital city[4].

World War II service

On 30 January 1943 Bill enlisted in the Australian Army and was allocated the service number WX36377[5]. He served until 14 December 1945 during which time he met Lenore Henderson, they married in Broadview, South Australia, on 10 September, just prior to being discharged[6].

Work and Family

Bill and Lenore moved to Western Australia. By 1949 they had three children, all boys and were living a few houses from Bill’s parents in Mount Hawthorne[7], Bill listed his occupation as a radio mechanic.

By 1954, they are living in Karri Hill Road, Northcliffe[8], a small south-west township. This is one of several Western Australian locations for post-WWII soldier settlement scheme tobacco farming. Bill and Lenore spoke of running a tobacco farm for a short time, the scheme was not successful. This is likely the place and time of this family story because Bill has listed his occupation as farmer. (References needed for WWII soldier settlement scheme and government-sponsored tobacco farms). They now had five children, three boys followed by two girls. In 1958 they were living in the nearby town of Manjimup, Bill had returned to being a radio mechanic, and they had another girl.

By 1963 they were homeowners in High Wycombe[9], a new subdivision in the foothills of Perth. High Wycombe was a considerable distance away from the Perth CBD and surrounded by bushlands, more of a village than a suburb. They had the last two of their eight children, both girls, and the eldest boy was now sixteen years old. He would leave shortly after to join the Australian Airforce.

Bill and the family were able to settle there for many years appearing in the electoral rolls in 1968[10] 1972[11], and 1977[12]. Work took Bill to many places, within and outside of Australia, in 1963 he appears both in High Wycombe and in Carnarvon and not at all in 1968.

Retirement and later life

By late 1970’s Bill’s health had deteriorated due to a neck injury he sustained at work some years before (he fell down the hold of a ship). He and Lenore moved to Mount Magnet where they lived in a caravan and prospected in the tailings of old gold mines[13]. In 1988 he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stomach cancer and died on 4 November of the same year and is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery[14]. He was survived by his wife, eight children, and twelve grandchildren


Bill Harvey served in the Australian Army in World War II
Enlisted: 30 01 1943
Regiment/Unit: 2nd AIF
Discharged: 14 12 1945
Bill Harvey is a Military Veteran.
Served in the Australian Citizen Military Forces
as a searchlight operator in Australia



  1.  date and place of birth in Australia, World War II Military Service Records, 1939-1945, Series B883: Army, 2nd Al F, Service No WX36377, William Charles Harvey (https://www.ancestry.com/inst/discoveries/PfRecord?collectionId=61172&recordId=1382815&language=en-US&ahsht=2018-01-02T05:05:54&ahsh=a9a30d0cc9c99dd1d8f15e4010e5ba52: retrieved 2 January 2018)
  2.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1925), Division of Kalgoorlie, Subdivision of Geraldton, p17, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 13 March 2016)
  3.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1931), Division of Kalgoorlie, Subdivision of Geraldton, p23,(http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 13 March 2016)
  4.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1937), Division of Fremantle, Subdivision of Leederville, p 72, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 13 March 2016)
  5.  Australian World War II Nominal Rolls, William Charles Harvey, (http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=A&veteranId=770292: Accessed 2 October 2010)
  6.  Adams, GF, Family History Workbook, unpublished, p83.
  7.  Australian Electoral Rolls (1949), Division of Moore, Subdivision of Balcatta, p39, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 13 March 2016)
  8.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1954), Division of Forrest, Subdivision of Nelson, p41, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 28 April 2016)
  9.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1963), Division of Moore, Subdivision of Pearce, p102, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 28 April 2016)
  10.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1968), Division of Moore, Subdivision of Kalamunda, p56, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 28 April 2016
  11.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1972), Division of Moore, Subdivision of Kalamunda, p25, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 28 April 2016
  12.  Australian Electoral Rolls, (1977), Division of Moore, Subdivision of Kalamunda, p32, (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/: accessed 28 April 2016)
  13.  Personal recollection, Georgina Adams 2 January 2018
  14.  Summary of Information, Metropolitan Cemeteries Board of Western Australia, Application Number KB00174105, Willliam Charles Harvey,(http://www2.mcb.wa.gov.au/NameSearch/details.php?id=KB00174105/: retrieved 2 January 2018)

Strangers in the Night

Archie ROWLEY (1897 – 1981) and Harry HARVEY (1893 – 1979) lived their lives twelve thousand miles apart, yet, before cars and planes were commonplace, their paths, so very nearly crossed. Archie and Harry, had the unfortunate luck to be born just in time to participate in a conflict we now call World War I. To them it became the “War to end all wars”.

Military service can be a boon to a family historian because of the information that is recorded and kept. Four years of Harry’s life is recorded in twenty-two pages of his army record. [1] Not only did the “war to end all wars” fail to end any war, it was followed a mere twenty-one years later by a sequel that obliterated over fifty percent of the British records of the first one. [2] In September 1940 a German bombing raid struck the London War office, and what remains of these records is now known as the ‘Burnt Documents’. Archie’s service in the Gordon Highlanders is recorded on a single medal card all other records burnt in the raid. [3]

Archie and Harry both served in France. Late 1915 or early 1916, Archie was gassed and blinded for three days, it impacted his health for the rest of his life. [4] On 12 July, 1916 Harry was sent to hospital in France with neurasthenia, a medical term used at the time known colloquially as shell shock. [5] He was shipped to England and admitted to the King George Hospital for treatment, he does not appear to have returned to France, and was transferred to the Australian Flying Corps 13 March, 1917. [6]


[1] National Archives of Australia (NAA): B245 Harvey, HC (http://www.naa.gov.au/ : accessed 13 March, 2016)

[2] Service records for the first world war. The National Archives (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/service_records/sr_soldiers.htm : accessed 27 June, 2016)

[3] Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original Data: Army Medal Office. WWI Medal Index Cards. In the care of The Western Front Association website. Retrieved 27 June 2016.

[4] Adams, GF, Family History Workbook, unpublished, “Interview with self” p 70. In the possession of Georgina Adams.

[5] Smithsonian Magazine, The Shock of War, C. Alexander, September 2010 (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-shock-of-war-55376701/?no-ist Retrieved 27 June, 2016)

[6] Same as 1, above.