1880-1885 Four daughters were born to Frederick and Fanny Jane (nee Kenning) Harvey, at Bedstead Gully on the Aorere Goldfields in Golden Bay.
1888 5 November: William (Bill) Harvey was born at Bedstead Gully, one of five brothers, four of whom served in the Great War.
Bill Harvey was working as a labourer for H. James in Collingwood when he enlisted as a Private. Both he and his brother Percy embarked from Wellington with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles on 16 October 1914 and arrived in Suez, Egypt on 3 December.
Bill saw service in Egypt before transferring to the Canterbury Infantry Regiment and leaving Alexandria for the Dardanelles.
He arrived at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on 12 April 1915. His military record shows he spent much of his time in and around the Dardanelles in hospitals suffering illnesses commonly experienced by the soldiers. On 4 July he was admitted to hospital on Lemnos with measles and after returning to duty on 7 August, during the Battle of Chunuk Bair, found himself back in hospital a week later with diarrhoea and enteritis.
Transferring to the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, Bill embarked on 7 April with his brothers Percy and Fred for Marseilles, France. From there he moved to the Western Front where his battalion and division moved to the front line and engaged in trench warfare around Armentières. The battalion was moved out of the area in August and commenced training in new methods of fighting, in particular advancing under a barrage of fire, and in September marched to fight in the Somme.
At the end of February the battalion was relieved and marched to billets in the Rue des Fiefs, near Sailly, France. In March, the 1st and 2nd Canterbury Battalions positioned themselves around the bombed ruin of the town of Messines and started bombarding enemy defences.
It was on this day that Bill received a serious gunshot wound which badly fractured his right leg. He was taken initially to the 77th Field Ambulance and then on to the No.1 Australian Field Ambulance before being admitted the next day to the No.8 Stationary Hospital at Wimereux. Bill was classified unfit for service for at least six months by a medical board on 6 July and left for NZ on board the hospital ship, Marama.
Back in NZ Bill became an in-patient at Nelson Hospital in August and was then granted a privilege-leave certificate on 22 September. He returned to Collingwood and his family, now living in Ferntown, Golden Bay, still suffering from his wounded leg and said to have shell shock. He was formally discharged from service on 12 October 1917.
Bill died suddenly on his 31st birthday on 5 November 1919 in the Collingwood boarding house he had been living in, almost a year since the war’s end. A report in the Colonist newspaper on 8 November said he had been receiving medical treatment for a heart condition for some time. “On the widowed mother the hand of misfortune has fallen heavily in recent years,” the report said. Bill was also buried in Collingwood Cemetery.
Bill’s brothers Fred, Percy and Charlie 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. The four Harvey brothers were amongst 41 from the Collingwood district that died in World War One.