Private John James Harvey 27594 (Machine Gun Corps)


27594 Private John James Harvey of the 20th Battallion Machine Gun Corps, attached to the 3rd East Yorkshire was killed on 1st April, 1918. Private Harvey was born and lived in Hull. From the location of his grave in Hangard, north east Somme, it is likely he was attempting to hold off the great advance of the Germans as part of Operation Michael that was launched on 21st March, 1918. As a machine gunner or gun crew member, he would have been a particular target for enemy shelling and infantry. It is likely he would have needed to cover the retreat of his own comrades, increasing the chances of his being hit by enemy action.

At the end of March 1918, Hangard was at the junction of the French and Commonwealth forces defending Amiens. From 4th to 25th April, the village and Hangard Wood were the scene of incessant fighting, in which the line was held and the 18th Division were particularly heavily engaged. On 8th August, the village was cleared by the 1st and 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.

The original extension to the communal cemetery was made by the Canadian Corps in August 1918.

John James Harvey was 23 on his death and he is buried in Hangard Communal Cemetery Extension in Hangard village, France. Thanks to Rosemary Page.

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