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James Trubshaw Harvey was born in the city of Lichfield in Staffordshire, his birth being registered in the December quarter of 1883. His parents, James and Harriet Harvey (nee Martin) had married in Lichfield in the March quarter of 1877 and James Trubshaw was the eldest of three, a daughter Hilda was born in 1888 but she died aged 3 years and then another son Percy George was born in 1891. In the Census of 1901 the Harvey family lived at 7 Chesterfield Terrace in Lichfield where James` father was a bootmaker/repairer by trade and by 1901 the Census shows that 17 year old James had followed his father into the same line of work, also being noted as a boot repairer.

On Boxing Day 1906 James married Margaret Lavinia Boston at the Parish Church in Lichfield and shortly after their marriage the couple relocated to Liverpool where a daughter Althea was born in 1909. James had gone to work for Messrs. J. Coombes & Company at their boot repairer shop on Smithdown Road in Liverpool. In 1911 James, Margaret and Althea`s address was 316 Smithdown Road in Liverpool and James was still employed as a boot repairer for the same company. James and Margaret had another child in August 1915, a daughter and they named her Mary.

Four months after his daughter Mary had been born James attested into the Army on the 15th December 1915 and was issued with the service number 36231. At his medical inspection it was noted that he was 5`4” tall, weighed 112lbs and had a chest measurement of 35”. He passed his medical inspection and was immediately posted to the Army Reserve after which he returned to his job as a boot repairer in Smithdown Road. Just short of 12 months later on the 4th December 1916 James was mobilised and posted to the Depot at Seaforth and then on the 7th December he was posted to the 68th Training Reserve Battalion at Ripon. On the 19th January 1917 Margaret gave birth to the couples` third child, a son and they named him Percy James. Also by this time James and his family had a new address at 17 Gorsebank Road in Liverpool.

On the 17th April 1917 James was posted to the 2nd Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and by the following day he was on his way to join the 2nd Battalion in Egypt. James boarded the `SS Transylvania` at Marseille on the 3rd May 1915 which was bound for Alexandria with a full complement of allied troops. The following morning the Transylvania was struck by two torpedoes fired from a German U-boat, the ship eventually sinking. Sadly, James was named amongst the 412 casualties, his papers stating that he had been drowned at sea on the 4th May 1917.

A number of bodies were later discovered as having been washed ashore near the town of Savona in the Gulf of Genoa, Italy. Amongst those recovered was the body of Private James Trubshaw Harvey and he was later buried in Savona Town Cemetery.

To read more on the sinking of the SS Transylvania – click here

By July 1917 James` widow Margaret and their three children had left Liverpool and moved back to Lichfield to live at 11 Shaw Street. In a letter dated the 17th July 1917 Margaret notified the Military Authorities of her new address and at the same time also enquired about the whereabouts of her husband`s body. Margaret, having been told that he had been washed ashore and buried in the graveyard in Italy informed the authorities that a friend had been to photograph his grave but had been unable to locate it because none of the graves had been marked. A reply dated 19/7/17 from the Authorities stated simply – “No further information”.

Margaret was later awarded a pension of 26s/3d per week with effect from 19th November 1917 for herself and the three children. A month later she finally received some of her husband`s personal effects which included; 1 photo, 1 packet cards, 2 packs razor blades, 1 typed letter, 1 registration card, 1 notebook, 1 wallet, 1 penny stamp and one halfpenny stamp and various official army forms.

After the war Margaret took receipt of her husband`s British War and Victory Medals to which he was entitled and would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

The name of James Trubshaw Harvey is also remembered on the Lichfield Town War Memorial (below).

lichfield-town-war-memorial the-lichfield-town-war-memorial-panel

Rank: Private
Service No: 36231
Date of Death: 04/05/1917
Age: 33
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Bn.
Cemetery: SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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One Response to 36231 PTE. J. T. HARVEY. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Gerard Convie says:

    Dear Madam/Sir my grandma also died off the Transylvania but was never found. His name was Edward D Convie. Does anyone know if his name is on the memorial at Savona? I would really appreciate any information anyone can give me. Kind Regards Gerard Convie

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