Categories: Australian Army, World War II.
Bill Harvey was born on 29 January 1923 in Subiaco, Western Australia to Harry Charles Harvey and Esther Muriel Langridge, the second son of four children. At that time, his parents lived with his paternal grandmother Annie Harvey in Geraldton, it is likely that his mother travelled to Subiaco, a suburb of the capital city Perth to give birth. as the two largest hospitals where women commonly gave birth were both located there. His family continued to live in Geraldton though no longer in his grandmother's house, but by 1937, they had moved to the capital city.
On 30 January 1943 Bill enlisted in the Australian Army and was allocated the service number WX36377. He served until 14 December 1945 during which time he met Lenore Henderson, they married in Broadview, South Australia, on 10 September, just prior to being discharged.
Bill and Lenore moved to Western Australia. By 1949 they had three children, all boys and were living a few houses from Bill's parents in Mount Hawthorne, Bill listed his occupation as a radio mechanic.
By 1954, they are living in Karri Hill Road, Northcliffe, a small south-west township. This is one of several Western Australian locations for post-WWII soldier settlement scheme tobacco farming. Bill and Lenore spoke of running a tobacco farm for a short time, the scheme was not successful. This is likely the place and time of this family story because Bill has listed his occupation as farmer. (References needed for WWII soldier settlement scheme and government-sponsored tobacco farms). They now had five children, three boys followed by two girls. In 1958 they were living in the nearby town of Manjimup, Bill had returned to being a radio mechanic, and they had another girl.
By 1963 they were homeowners in High Wycombe, a new subdivision in the foothills of Perth. High Wycombe was a considerable distance away from the Perth CBD and surrounded by bushlands, more of a village than a suburb. They had the last two of their eight children, both girls, and the eldest boy was now sixteen years old. He would leave shortly after to join the Australian Airforce.
Bill and the family were able to settle there for many years appearing in the electoral rolls in 1968 1972, and 1977. Work took Bill to many places, within and outside of Australia, in 1963 he appears both in High Wycombe and in Carnarvon and not at all in 1968.
By late 1970's Bill's health had deteriorated due to a neck injury he sustained at work some years before (he fell down the hold of a ship). He and Lenore moved to Mount Magnet where they lived in a caravan and prospected in the tailings of old gold mines. In 1988 he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stomach cancer and died on 4 November of the same year and is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, eight children, and twelve grandchildren
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