1880-1885 Four daughters were born to Frederick and Fanny Jane (nee Kenning) Harvey, at Bedstead Gully on the Aorere Goldfields in Golden Bay.
1894 31 July: Percy Harvey was born at Bedstead Gully, one of five brothers, four of whom served in the Great War.
Along with his brother Bill, Trooper Percy Harvey, a labourer for Arthur Skilton, enlisted on 13 August and left from Wellington with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles on 16 October arriving in Suez, Egypt on 3 December.
Percy transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment on 25 March.
Just three months later, on 26 June, he departed for the Dardanelles. On 16 August his military record states he was admitted to a casualty clearing station at “Anzac” and then into the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital in Egypt with diarrhoea, a common affliction for the men fighting at Gallipoli. He spent several months recuperating.
In April, along with his brothers Bill and Chas, Percy was transferred to France, moving through Ballieul, Boulogne and Camiers, where he spent time in hospital for another sickness.
Percy wrote to his sister Emma Solly on 22 April about conditions in France. “It’s a cold show this and we feel it more after being so hot in Egypt. It has been raining very near all the time since we arrived here and today is miserable cold and wet...We are camped in a very fair place with straw to ly (sic) on and the two old folk often ask someone in by the fire…” Percy also said all “the boys” (his brothers) were well “but for a cold” and signed off with “a few French kisses for you to dish out and about”.
A week later he penned another letter from behind the front: “It has been lovely weather this week and today is perfect – makes me wish I was home but no such luck and by the row the big guns are making, things are pretty solid at the front and we are in no hurry to get any closer, although I’m afraid it won’t be long before we move.” Telling Emma the men had been given protection from exposure to gas, he followed with: “I think the Germans game is just about played out and it will be a good thing when things are all settled up won’t it?”
On 6 June a sick Percy was admitted to hospital at Bailleul, rejoining his unit at Etaples on 7 August.
It was during the Battle of the Somme on 21 September that he was shot in the thigh and his brother Fred injured in the same battle on the same day. Percy, a private with the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, was admitted to the No.1 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples on 26 September but died in hospital two days later, 28 September. He was aged 22 years old and was buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France.
Frederick Harvey senior died in Ferntown, aged 72 and was buried in Collingwood Cemetery.
1937 20 August: Fanny Harvey died, aged 82. She too was buried in Collingwood Cemetery.
Brothers Fred, Percy and Chas Harvey never returned to Golden Bay from their World War One service, all dying on the Western Front, two of them injured on the same day in the same battle. Only one Harvey brother, Bill, came home but, badly injured, he died 12 months after the war’s end. The four Harvey brothers were amongst 41 from the Collingwood district who died in World War One.