Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by georgetanksherman » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:44 pm

Thank you so much Temujin, that really helped a lot to clear things up, being from the Air Force community, I did not grasp how the Army operated with there movements of personnel, I guess you could say it was like the "Manning Depot" of the R.A.F., get them trained and put them into a holding area until needed ! Appreciate all the help from everyone !!!!!!

Cheers !

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by klambie » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:33 pm

As much for my own clarity as anything ...

From the MFM 1 form Temujin has excerpted above, putting things in correct order (effective date/action/reporting unit):
3 Jul 44 Disembark UK - 2 CIRU
4 Jul 44 Report for Duty - 2 CIRU
4 Jul 44 Reverts to Pte - 2 CIRU
5 Jul 44 To be A/Cpl - 2 CIRU
13 Jul 44 SOS 2 CIRU to X4 RWR - 2 CIRU
13 44 Jul Reverts to Pte on being SOS - 2 CIRU
14 Jul 44 Should be an entry TOS X4 RWR from 2 CIRU - XL RWR (you do see this on the MFM 4 form in the initial post)
17 Jul 44 Embark UK - XL (should be X List RWR)
18 Jul Disembark France - RWR (should be X List RWR)
Possible the clerk entered XL and RWR on those two lines intending them to cover both entries - ie. XL RWR and ditto if entered 'correctly'
27 Jul 44 SOS X4 RWR to CH - XL RWR
28 Jul 44 TOS CH from X4 RWR - CH
1 Aug 44 Missing
1 Aug 44 SOS KIA - CH (dated 9 Sept)
1 Aug 44 KIA - RWR (dated 2 Sept) - this entry is incorrect based on all above, but is probably the source of the misidentification

X4 is not on the strength of the specified unit. Still in the reinforcement stream, simply tabbed to go to that unit when needed. In practice, if some other unit needed reinfs urgently, that was ignored. CH (and all of 2 Cdn Inf Div) were reinforcing after major losses during Op Spring 25-26 Jul 44. The volume of paperwork coming out of that could contribute to this messy record.

Entries that show RWR as his unit while he was on the X4 are not technically correct, though that is often seen. It's also common to see the unit as something like XL RWR to make clear he is on the reinforcement list, not part of that unit.

I'm looking at a research trip to the Archives this year. I will try to find the CH War Diary to look for a TOS entry in their Bn Orders. If I can find it, it should be possible to get CWGC to update his info and eventually his headstone.

For what it's worth, here are two Graves Concentration reports from CWGC. Note the later dated one has him as a Calgary Highlander. It also shows another burial at MR 06516024 which is almost due W of Tilly. Possible this was initial burial (by the Germans?), then moved back toward Hubert Folie after Tilly fell on 8 Aug, then finally to Bretteville sur Laize?
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Harvin Conc report 1.jpg
Harvin Conc report 1.jpg (332.52 KiB) Viewed 1361 times
Harvin Conc report 2.jpg
Harvin Conc report 2.jpg (339.29 KiB) Viewed 1361 times
Kevin Lambie
www.reginarifles.ca

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by georgetanksherman » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:58 pm

Wow, Thank you Temujin and klambie for the AWESOME help and clarification on this Fallen Warrior. Thank You !!!

Cheers

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by Temujin » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:14 pm

George, I’ve done more research on documents and maps and I’ll post that up shortly

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by Temujin » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:20 pm

George, working with Kevin’s info, researching the Royal Winnipeg Rifles war diaries, and the Calgary Highlanders war diaries, and the War Diaries of the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade and with Pte (Rfm) Harvin’s records......I agree with Kevin, I’m almost 99% sure that Pte Hardin was part of the Calgary Highlanders on the day his records say he was KIA (1 Aug 44).

I’ll attached the war diaries with area’s to note........AND I’ve done a map, showing “where the RWR were” PRIOR to their move to a Rest area which they were AT on the 1st Aug. The RWR is noted on the map (their last position of the Battalion and of the Battalion “F” Echelon

Then, I have showing your the “start line” for the attack by the Calgary Highlander on Tilly La Campagne........and the “first” burial spot of Pte Havin.

As you can see this location is in between the Calgary Highlanders “start line” and “Tilly”

During the RWR tour (before they went back to the rest area) they DID NOT get close to Tilly, they were schedule to (assist in an attack on the 25th July)......but they DID NOT move from their Start LIne

Here’s the map
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And here’s the other documents that support the hypnosis above:

The original burial document that Kevin supplied, showing his unit was Calgary Highlanders, and his “original burial location”
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This document is the War Diaries of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, showing where they were, at the Start Line of a proposed attack on Tilly.....but they never moved from that spot. The Regiment reports TWO casualties on another day (but it doesn’t say whether they were wounded or KIA’s)
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This is from the Official History of the Canadian Forces in WW2, it shows that the Calgary Highlander’s suffered many casualties (wounded and KIA) on the attack on 1 Aug 44
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Finally the War Diaries of the Calgary Highlanders, showing their attack on Tilly
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Finically if Kevin can confirm his TOS with the Calgary Highlanders in their Battalion Orders.....that would confirm his unit was indeed the Calgary Highlanders on his death
These users commended the author Temujin for the post:
klambie (Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:13 pm)

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by Temujin » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:54 pm

This is a google map view today, of the area.......the photo is taken is the “approximate” position of the Calgary HIghlanders ‘start line”......who can see the existing “track” (which is now a country road) which some of the Companies were either side of.......and I’ve place a RED ARROW, again very approximately where Pte Harvin’s original grave position (which as Kevin said, may have been done by the Germans). Tilly is the “houses in the distance”

It would be nice to confirm all of the above, in order to have his headstone corrected.
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I’ve also added a “close up” map of the Tilly area, I’ve marked the “start line” for the Calgary Highlanders before the 1st Aug attack (actually this was the position of the “house” in that area that Bn HQ’s set up), the Battalions Companies would have most likely been spread out “along this road”.....as the roads ditch’s are good cover until the attack goes in.......and then I’ve marked the position of Pte Harvin’s original grave

The road is a 4 lane highway today (Highway N148) heading to Caen
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Approximate (very approx) location of the Calgary Highlanders “start line” for the attack, and approx area of Pte Harvin’s original grave site
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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by Temujin » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:34 pm

I know I’m bombarding you with information George, but just so you know a little of Canadian Army record keeping.

So, Kevin said he may be able to look at the “Battalion Orders” and seen when Pte Harvin was TOS to the unit.

TOS means “Taken on Strength” - which is literally “then man has arrived and he’s ours”

Every unit in the Canadian Army “published” Orders, every few days.....some were “daily” and some every few days. These “Orders” told everyone in the unit information, such as when a man joined, when a man left, trade qualifications, tests, leave, when to draw new equipment, or report to the dentist etc etc.

I’ve copied a “typical order” of a Graves Registration Unit and posted it below so that you can see it. You can also see I’ve marked up 3 different TOS.

These tell us these men came from “reinforcement holding units”.......
so the FIRST one tells us the man came from a Canadian Engineer Reinforcement Unit........RED BOX
the SECOND one tells us this man came from a Canadian Artillery Reinforcement Unit........BLUE BOX
and the THIRD one tells us this man came from a Canadian Army Service Corps Reinforcement Unit.......GREEN BOX

W.e.f in the orders means “with effective date” (again as it says, the date this action happened)
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The unit took men from “all branch’s of the service”.....you didn’t have to be specifically any one trade or Regiment.

In the Case of the Calgary Highlanders, MOST, if not all the men would have come from either other Infantry Units or a Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit.

Also if men LEFT a unit, he would be SOS - Struck off strength.......this included if they were wounded, killed or Prisoner of war.....they would be SOS to and X LIST. (X List are a whole other story which I can give you if you want to know)

So it is possible to confirm if Private Harvin was with the Calgary Highlanders

Right now, I’m searching thru this Graves Registration Unit to see if I can get ANY information on Pte Harvin’s re-burial. As their was more than ONE Graves Registration Units......it may not be possible to find this.....without a LOT of searching

Cheers

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by georgetanksherman » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:55 pm

Temujin, Please, by all means bombard me with info, I appreciate all that you can give, especially were the knowledge of Army matters go, I will admit when I first saw the items that you posted, I was lost, but now that you and klambie explained things I am beginning to see the story come together ! I really appreciate both of your times spent on this trying to figure this Warriors Story !

Cheers !

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by Temujin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:17 am

George, I don’t usually do this......but I’m going to send Pte Harvin’s photo to my Uncle to see if he recalls him.
It’s a long shot but:

My Uncle, who turned 96 in Dec, served in WW2, first with the Regina Rifles in Canada and then when he arrived in England, he with to a CIRU as a “reinforcement” and finally went to the Calgary Highlanders JUST BEFORE they landed in France in July, and served with them thru to the end of the war (he was a Bren gunner) and wounded twice.

As my Uncle (and my family are from Alberta.....and at that time (and even today) we didn’t have many people of colour, especially Black people in our area of Canada.......so if Pte Harvin joined the Calgary Highlanders and were with them, even though it was only 5 days or so, my Uncle “may” have remembered him......

Again, its a long shot, as an Infantry Battalion is a BIG unit (over 800 men) and he may not have been assigned to my Uncles Company.....but I’ll try

I just saw my uncle in the summer (last year) and hopefully will seem him next summer (we have family reunions every two years).

Anyway, thought I’d give it a try.....it may confirm his presence’s with the Battalion

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Re: Rifleman Randolph Hartman Harvin

Post by georgetanksherman » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:33 pm

Temujin, if you would kindly pass along a HUGE "Thank You" to your Uncle for what he did, from us here in Texas, we would truly appreciate it !

Cheers

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