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Born: 14 June 1883, Whitstable, Kent
Died: 22 September 1914, at sea
Address: 11 Ashfield Place, Fagley
Parents: Alfred Joseph & Charlotte Ellen (nee Fielder)
Spouse: Alice Kathleen (nee Austin)
Siblings: Alfred, Mabel Alice. Step brothers: Charles & Ernest Wray
Occupation: Bradford Tramways cleaner
Rank: Stoker
Rolls of Honour: St Luke’s, Eccleshill; Bradford Transport; RN Chatham
Children: William
Regiment: Royal Navy
William Edward Harvey
William Edward Harvey was born on the 14th June 1883 in Whitstable Kent, the son of Alfred Joseph Harvey and Charlotte Ellen Fielder who were married in Alverstoke in 1880. Alfred had been born in Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight in 1854 and Charlotte in Portsea in 1859. By 1891 the family were living at 1 Cecil Place Alverstoke. Alfred was working as a hand miller and he and Charlotte had three children Alfred L born 1882, William Edward born 1883 and Mabel Alice born 1890. William’s mother died in 1898 in Portsea when he was 15 years old and his father remarried Annetta Wray in 1900. Annetta had two sons by her previous marriage and in 1901 the family had moved to 49 Village Road, Alverstoke and Alfred was working in the Portsmouth dockyard as a miller. William’s brother Alfred was employed as a labourer at a mineral water factory and William himself was working as a cooper’s apprentice. His two step brothers Charles Wray was working as a carpenter’s apprentice and Ernest
Wray was still at school. It is not known when William joined the Royal Navy. In 1907 he married Alice Kathleen E Austin born in 1888 in Ospringe. They had one son William born in 1908 in Ospringe. In 1911 the family were living at 3 Nightingale Road, Faversham and William described himself as a Petty Officer in the navy. Also living with them was Alfred Austin, the brother of Alice. He was a steeper in cotton powder works. On the 1911 census William is also shown on the census in the list of Officers, crew and Royal Marines on board at midnight on Sunday the 2nd April 1911. He is shown as William E Harvey, 26 years, married, occupation a cooper, born in Alverstoke, and his religion was Church of England. He cannot have been in two places at once and as he signed the census form from home it is likely that he was at his home with Alice on the night of the census and that the navy simply entered everyone who should have been on board
that night. However there appears to be a discrepancy in occupation. Perhaps William liked to describe himself as a petty officer. His appearance on the ship’s list is amongst those non-officers. During the early months of World War 1 the Royal Navy maintained a patrol of old Cressy class armoured cruisers in the North Sea. In the early hours of September 22nd 1914 the cruisers HMS Euryalus, HMS Hogue and HMS Aboukir were attacked by German U boats and HMS Aboukir, upon which William sailed, was the first to be sunk. These ships were old and unable to obtain a good speed and at this stage of the war the practice of zig-
zagging had not been introduced and they were sitting targets. The crew were ordered to abandoned ship and as the other two ships were also attacked and sunk, 1459 men lost their lives in what is still considered to be the largest British naval disaster in history. William was 31 years old. In the list of Deaths at Sea 1781- 1968 William is recorded as a Stoker 299944. He was killed or died as a result of enemy action and his body was never recovered for burial. His widow is shown as Alice Harvey living at 11 Ashfield Place, Fagley. The family had moved from Faversham to Bradford between the years 1911 and 1914 possibly after William’s retirement from the Royal Navy. In 1914 William was working for Bradford Tramways as a cleaner at Thornbury Depot when he re-joined the Navy and his name is recorded on the roll of honour which in 1914 was placed in the department’s offices in Hall Ings. William is shown as having served on HMS Aboukir and reported as missing. His name is also on the Memorial at Chatham.
Eccleshill Roll of Honour Eccleshill Roll of Honour Eccleshill Roll of Honour
HMS Aboukir
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks
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