Private John Harvey
15th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
Died 3 July 1916, Battle of the Somme.
John Harvey was born at Sorbie, the son of James and Margaret Harvey. By 1891 the Harveys were living in Wigtown where they stayed at 9 South Back Street with James working as a shoemaker. After he left school John got work as a tinsmith and the family continued to live at Wigtown: in 1911 they were living at 21 Harbour Rd. 

John Harvey enlisted in Glasgow and may have worked for the tramways company along with fellow Wigtown man Leslie Kennedy. He joined the 15th (Service) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. The battalion was raised in Glasgow in September 1914 by Glasgow Corporation employee Mr. Jimmy Dalrymple, the manager of the Tramways Department. Prior to finishing his shift one afternoon he phoned around all the Tramcar Depots and asked ‘see if any of the men would be interested in joining a battalion made up entirely of men from the ‘Caurs’. On returning to his office the next morning, some sixteen hours later, there was a list on his desk with the names of 1100 volunteers wanting to enlist. It is reckoned that the 15th were the fastest recruited Battalion in the history of the British Army.
The 15th Battalion were ‘blooded’ at the Somme in 1916 and it was on the third day of the battle that John Harvey died on 3 July 1916. His body was not found. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, which bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. John’s outstanding pay – £9 9s – was paid to his brother, Patrick as, by then, his father had died. A further payment of £8 War Gratuity was paid to Patrick in 1919.