Three sons serve, one returns

Alfred Purvis's recommendation for the Military Medal.
Alfred Purvis's recommendation for the Military Medal.

Henry William Purvis and Florence (nee Pollard) had three sons enlist in World War One, two of them dying on the battlefields of Belgium.  2971/33451/1222 Donald Purvis (born 1890 near Emmaville and registered in Queensland) was killed in action on 16 Sep 1917 in Belgium, and younger brother 3198 Henry Harold Purvis (born 1893 at Guyra and registered in Queensland) (4 Bn) was killed in action on 15 Apr 1917.  He was killed “at Hermies at a point between No 11 and 12 Platoon Posts C Coy.”

Their youngest son 2630 Alfred William Alexander Purvis (born 1897 at Maidenhead Qld) (3 MG) was awarded the Military Medal “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on Road Wood near Bouchavesnes on 31 Aug 1918.

“Private Purvis acted as Company Runner and in spite of extremely heavy machine Gun and artillery fire he repeatedly carried messages with the greatest devotion from the front line to Battalion Headquarters.  He never once hesitated and he carried out his dangerous work with marked cheerfulness. On two occasions, although exposed to constant machine gun and rifle fire, he crawled out in to the open, dressed wounded men, and carried them to a place of comparative safety.  Throughout the operations, this man distinguished himself by his great gallantry, his eagerness to serve his comrades and his devotion to duty.”

Private Purvis survived the war and died in Armidale on 30 Jan 1973.


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