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kingsman64

History in our hands

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Dear Forum

just wanted to share the outcome of my latest research project. I am again really pleased to have been able to uncover the story of the man behind the medals and accurately record his service and ultimately his untimely and sad demise.

I recently purchased a nice condition mounted for wear Q.S.A. and 14-15 Trio to W A Harvey Pte. 6897 Manchester Regiment on the Q.S.A. TS-4990 Driver. W A Harvey, A S C on the Trio. His medal index card shows his WW1 medals were not applied for till 1935 and gives his address as 9 Cedar Road Stockport Manchester. I like the way he has mounted the group for wear clearly preferring the wording to be seen on the Victory Medal. I was drawn to the death certificate with the medals which intrigued me and I was hoping nobody else at the viewing had seen it!

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If you collect to line infantry regiments or the more glamorous units a Q.S.A. with two state bars and two date bars in combination with a A.S.C trio may not seem very attractive to some, but I thought there may be a story to tell and what a story!

William Alban Harvey was a Lancashire lad by birth born in Heaton Norris Stockport on the 5 Jan 1884. The Harvey family had a well established local business  having a Leather Goods harness and Saddlers store on Heaton Lane Stockport. Indeed on William's attestation paper for the Militia on the 30th of January he gives his occupation as a saddler however he lies about his age claiming to be 18 years and 1 month old, he had in fact just turned 16!

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William enlisted into the 3rd Militia Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and he is quickly transferred to the 5th Ardwick Volunteer Battalion having immediately volunteered for service in South Africa where he was to earn his Q.S.A. and 4 clasps a nice hallmarked silver football medallion engraved to him as a member of the 4th VB in 1906 shows he continued to serve as a part time soldier after his return from the 2nd Boer War.

Williams skills as a saddler I am sure must have been very useful to the A.S.C. transport unit he served in WW1 with and after war service he returned to Stockport to a quiet hard working life with his beloved Hilda. However the horrors of war had not ended for William he was to suffer a very cruel twist of fate.

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As I said earlier I was drawn to his death certificate which was in the little wooden chest containing his medals, it clearly stated his occupation as "Inspector of Army Equipment for the Army Ordnance Corps". I was fascinated to see his cause of death given as "Due to War Operations"!
Was William at 57 still serving in the armed forces in 1941 in some capacity?

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He was certainly engaged in war work, however his demise was far more tragic William Alban Harvey the Lancashire Lad who at 16 lied about his age to serve in South Africa, who then served in France throughout WW1 actually lost his life at home at 9 Cedar Road Stockport on the night of the 2nd June 1941 when the Luftwaffe scored a direct hit on his house during the Manchester Blitz.

He is remembered on this web site:

http://www.greatermanchesterblitzvictims.co.uk/index.php?sold_id=s%3A11%3A%22665%2Cvictims%22%3B&letter&soldier=Harvey&district_id=28

KINGSMAN64

Edited by kingsman64
pic added

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That is a fantastic little time capsule.

It may be a horrible and (if it were my group) possibly a selfish thought, but his death in the airraid rounds it off nicely.

I think a group that a collector could really enjoy owning.

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