Added Feb 2012

Men of Shalford Who Served in WWII

  Amongst the many men and women from the village who served in the Second World War were two who awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field.

One was my eldest brother Allan Mark Harvey of Keepers Cottage, Shalford, the other being John Parmenter from Dynes Farm in the village. Both of them were in the same Form at Braintree County High School.

  On 3 September 1939 when war was declared on Germany, Allan Harvey was at his Annual Territorial Army Camp on Salisbury Plain with a Searchlight Battery of the Royal Engineers whose Drill Hall in Braintree was alongside the Bus Park. Soon after completion of his Annual Camp he transferred to the Royal Corps of Signals and was posted to RAF, Hawkinge (one of our famous Battle of Britain Airfields) In 1941 he was given a short embarkation leave before sailing out to the Middle East being stationed in Cairo, Port Said, Tel Aviv and Gaza before being moved to Egypt to take part on the Battle of EI Alamein with the Eighth Army. Here he was wounded for the first time and sent to a Hospital in Malta for treatment. After treatment he was soon back with his regiment being part of the 56th London Division. With them he was involved in the Sicily landings in July 1943 and it was here he was awarded the Military Medal.

  After this he then took part on the Anzio Landings and fought through Italy with his Regiment right up to the Gothic Line. After being wounded here, he was this time sent to a hospital in Athens, Greece for treatment and after recovering he spent the rest of the war in Greece.

  He was awarded the MM for his actions around the Primasole Bridge in the area of the Catania Plain on the East Coast of Sicily.

  The Citation for the award of his Military Medal read:-

2047532 Signalman (L/Cpl) Allan Mark Harvey, Royal Signals

  "On the night of 17 July 43, Cpl Harvey, Royal Corps of Signals, was in charge of 168 lnf Bde Sig Sec lone party. In the early hours of 18 July, he took his line party out to establish communications with Bn HQ's, through an area which was still under small arms, shell and mortar fire. Not only did he succeed in laying the line, but for the next thirteen days, he and his detachment maintained those lines, very often under fire. Communications were continually being cut and with a complete disregard of danger, he led his men at all during times during the day or night and spent many hours under very trying conditions making certain that the communications were maintained.

  During the advance from the BOTIO CETII line, he was called upon to establish line communications over country that had not been cleared of mines. Again with complete disregard to his own personal safety, he took his line section cheerfully and willingly and carried out all his tasks. Throughout these operations, his personal example, bravery and cheerfulness has been responsible for the very high standard of line communication and has been an example to his section, who under his personal leadership have never failed to carry out the arduous duties which they were called upon to perform.

GRANTED AN IMMEDIATE MM

  Soon after his demobilisation in 1945 he joined the Territorial Army again in the Corps of Royal Engineers and served for many years, progressing through to the rank of Captain and being awarded the Territorial Decoration.

  After his retirement he visited the Anzio Beach Bead area in Italy, where he had landed in January 1944. Whilst there he visited the beautiful Commonwealth War Grave Commission Cemetery at Anzio to pay his respects at the grave of Captain Rodney Gold (Essex Yeomanry) the Son of Major Gold of Abbotts Hall, Shalford.

  Allan had asked that upon his death his ashes br scattered at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford and permission was granted for this to happen. He is remembered at Duxford with a memorial seat that is inscribed as follows:-

CAPTAIN A M HARVEY MM,TD
R SIGS AND RE
EL ALAMEIN TO THE GOTHIC LINE

John W Harvey
30 January 2012