The following pages are dedicated to that mythical and legendary figure we call the “Anzac.”

This is an account of one man’s incredible struggle to stay alive in what is known in human history as “extraordinary times.” This brave and courageous man went onto many great challenges in life and he became one of the most respected soldiers and policemen in Western Australian history.


If anyone was a “True Blue” Aussie, then it was this man!


Did this legendary figure ever exist?


You bet your “bloody boots” he did mate!


Excerpt from the book

Protect & Serve

  “A History of Policing in Western Australia”


Who was the officer who began his adventures as a soldier in the British Army on the Afghan frontier in India, won the Military Cross in France while serving in the Australian Army, performed deeds as a police officer that are still legendary in our southwest, rejoined the Army in World War 11, rose to the rank of Major, rejoined the police and finally retired as an Inspector in charge of Fremantle in 1949?

(Historical Introduction, page X111)


William Harvey was a prime example. He was of English birth and had served as a soldier on the Afghan frontier in the early 1900’s before moving to Western Australia.

Harvey enlisted in the expeditionary force in 1914, survived Gallipoli and eight or nine battles on the western front, was commissioned a Lieutenant and later won the Military Cross for a spectacular feat of bravery while storming a German trench at Morcourt. He joined in 1920 and - despite being very reluctant to gain public notice - became a very notable figure in the history of the force, with popular acclaim to match. Harvey is a forgotten hero of our states history.

(page 161)


Peter Conole

Western Australian Police Service Historian



“William Harvey, MC” was a member of a very exclusive club of  less than 3000 Australians. His life story is one of true greatness... Yet he never sought  notice!

His name stands with other great historical Australian figures. Celebrated Australian figures including His Excellency the Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC, Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC and the famous Captain Albert Jacka VC, MC & Bar to mention but a few.


Born in the East End of London in 1886 William would become a British soldier seeing service in the Royal Horse Artillery, serving in England and India (1908 - 1911?)


He arrived in Western Australia in 1911 and worked on the land in the northern wheat belt until 1914, then the call went out! Along with many others he joined what would become the famed “16th Battalion” of the “First AIF” and he landed with that battalion on the shores of Gallipoli on that fateful day of the 25th of April 1915.


He fought in the most precarious of places on Gallipoli. Famous places like “Pope’s Hill” and “Quinns Post” for months on end and then he survived the critical individual battles of the attempted breakout of the ANZAC sector during the August offensives of 1915. He finally succumbed “only” to the “Gallipoli trots” (Dysentery), scabies and a massive flu in October of that year and was evacuated back to Egypt. He had survived the making of a national legend in one piece, regained his health and strength and carried on the fight. With his few original remaining mates he would move onward, ever onward, to many more battles, battles that would kill tens of thousands of Anzac’s and cripple hundred’s of thousands more before this madness was finally over. The Anzac’s would soon come face to face with the might of an entrenched German army on the western front and the coming battles would make Gallipoli look like a side show.

Yet he survived all physical battles of the mind and body and he was still standing tall on the very last day of WW1, this in itself is amazing, consider this if you will! It has been written that an airman’s life span in WW1 was just “three short weeks” from start to finish! It has also been written that an infantry signal-mans life span in those days was just “twenty four hours!” Now add a signaller of Sergeant and/or Officer rank to the equation and you do the sums.


However, it was not over yet, not by a long shot for he would endure much, much more pain in his spectacular life ahead.


William had been promoted through the ranks and became an officer in 1917, he and his battalion signallers would go on to fight many more famous battles, unfortunately, not all would survive. On August the 8th 1918 he was recommended for and then awarded the “Military Cross” for a stunning feat of bravery when he faced down a German machine gun crew whilst armed only with a handgun and a couple of grenades.

Soon after being presented the “Military Cross” by “King George the Fifth” at Buckingham Palace William married, had a child, then set sail for Western Australia with his young family. Margaret would give birth to her second child (Ursula) in Australia then return to England with the kids to tie up loose ends, she would not see her husband for another year and a half.


In March of 1920 William presented himself to the West Australian Police Force and applied for the position of a policeman, it is said, “to the great delight of the force!”  With reference’s from some very famous Australian diggers he became Western Australian Police Constable “number 1303.” Another legend was now in the making! His first two years of service were mainly walking the beat and mounted on horseback in the Perth and Victoria Park area’s until his wife  arrived back from England in 1922, this time the couple would be together forever and they would stand side by side through thick and thin until the very end.

Within weeks of Margaret’s arrival in Perth Constable Harvey was appointed “Officer in Charge” of the outback gold mining town of Youanmi where he became a tough, no nonsense “Outback Pioneer Policeman” Youanmi hotel.


Having left their small mark on the famed Australian outback life to history the family then transferred to the Southwest timber town of Manjimup in the mid 1920’s, their life ahead would only get harder and tragedy would strike the growing family many times in the ten years of their lives in that small wild west timber town of it’s times.

The tragic death’s of two of their children haunted the family and an infamous incident in 1932 also took it’s toll in the form of a wild west, full moon, main street gunfight in which William shot dead a bank robber and gunman who had levelled a revolver at him with “intent to kill.” Bank robber Martin Keen Manjimup main st 1930. During his time at Manjimup he was officially asked to run for Parliament to represent the people of the district, however he graciously declined.


  In 1935 William was granted the prestigious posting of “Sgt. in charge of police training” and by late 1936 he was so well respected that he was elected “Police Union President” until 1940 when he was requested by the Australian Army to form, train and command a wartime Military Police Force to look after the Western third of the Continent of Australia. Western Command to police.

During the years 1940 to 1944 he proved to be of outstanding assistance to the war effort and it was he who took command of the “Sydney V Kormoran” POW survivors, at one stage his military police force held over three hundred prisoners of war in the infamous “Fremantle Prison.”


The year of 1944 again saw personal tragedy for the family with the couples eldest son being killed during transportation from the “Burma-Thai railway” to  slave  in the mines of Japan.

The Japanese freighter (Rakuyo Maru) carrying allied POW’s to Japan was attacked and sunk by prowling American submarines somewhere in the South China Sea and his mother saw it in her “worst nightmare.”


By wars end William was once again a Policeman training special constables, he was then promoted to the rank of “Inspector in Charge” of Fremantle until the end of the “golden era” of the Western Australian Police Force, on the last day of 1949 a number of “Legends” of their times retired.  One of them being Inspector William Harvey MC


William and his wife Margaret then enjoyed a long, happy, and very busy retirement until 1964 when they both past away within months of each other, fortunately both had left behind memories of truly tough and amazing lives. This is where I come into the story, you see just before old Bill died my father and I sat down with him and ran through his life and times as we looked over all of his special memories, and I never forgot it!

I mean how could you forget? He was an original Anzac and he had taken many photos during his time in India, Gallipoli, France and England and he explained the stories behind just a few of them! Then to top it all off he was a tough and well respected cop who had worked hard for his country and he had achieved many things, against many odds, he had had many battles and he had won most, drawn a few and lost a couple. Yet he was so modest!

He had seen and done more than any person I have ever known in my entire life, he was a legend, not only for being an Original Anzac, but also for being a fine Policeman and a very well respected citizen of the highest order, but above all, he had time for me.

When asked “why he didn’t write a book on his life, his answer stunned me! “Oh no, why would anyone be interested in my life.”


I tip my hat to you good Sir!


Laurie Harvey

Go to: A quick rundownA_quick_rundown.html

The True Life Story Of William Harvey, MC, JP

ANZAC HERO, POLICE LEGEND

                          Virtue goes quietly on her way, while vice is noisy and uproarious; The criminal forces himself on the public attention,

                                                              while the honest man does his duty in silence, and no one hears of him.


                                                            This is the story of one such man. That man was William Harvey, MC, JP.

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