War memorial project

Gunner Harvey West

Gunner Harvey West A2 display sheet

Family

Harvey West was born on 23 May 1887 at Tadley and baptised at Tadley Old Meeting on 10 July 1887.

His parents were Harvey and Euphemia Margaret West (née Savage).

He had three siblings: Elsie, Harvey, Leonard and Sarah. Sadly, Elsie died just four days after Harvey was born.

In the 1891 census Harvey was aged 3 and his father was the licenced victualler of the ‘Fox and Hounds’, Mulfords Hill. The family was beset with tragedy. Following the birth of another daughter, Sarah, his mother, aged 33, died in March 1896, just nine days before her daughter. Three months later his father, aged 34, also died. All are buried at the Old Meeting, Tadley. The two surviving boys, Harvey and Leonard now required homes.

In the 1901 census Harvey, although aged only 13 years, is in employment in Hartley Wespall near Stratfield Turgis. He is recorded as being a ‘Cow Boy’. Leonard, aged 12, is living with his paternal grandparents, Thomas and Sarah West (parents of Israel West).

Harvey returned to Tadley and married Mary Monger on 3 August 1908. They had four children: Violet May, Elizabeth Sarah ‘Sally’, Margaret Rose and William George. His occupation was that of ‘Broom Maker.

Harvey was a cousin of Albert West (1910 -2007) and the nephew of Israel West who also died in World War I and is remembered on the Tadley memorial.

Service record

Harvey served as a Gunner in the C Battery, 63rd Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (service number 28315).

The 63rd Brigade was formed as part of Kitchener’s First (K1) Army. It is also sometimes shown as 63 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (RFA).

It originally comprised of numbers 199, 200 and 201 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 12th (Eastern) Division with whom it remained throughout the war.

At the time of his death, the Division was in action in the Battle of Albert, a phase of the Second Battles of the Somme, where they captured Meaulte, Mametz, Carnoy, Hardecourt and Faviere Wood.

Died

Harvey died of wounds on the Western Front on Sunday 1 September 1918, aged 31.

Commemorated

Harvey was buried in Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, France.

He is also remembered on Tadley war memorial.

Decorations

Harvey was awarded three medals: Victory, British and 1915 Star. These would have been sent to his wife.

TADS World War I Memorial Exhibition is available for loan to interested bodies (eg, schools, Remembrance events etc). Copies of individual's sheets may be purchased from Profile Print & Copy (see for further details)

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Page updated: Monday 4 May 2015; review date: 1 June 2015.