condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

Douglas Munro Harvey

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Douglas Munro AWMM
  • Surname
    Harvey AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Doug AWMM
  • Service number
    NZD1158 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›


Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›

Military decorations

Contribute ›
  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›
  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    Inter War Unknown AWMM
    Age 16 AWMM
    Seaman AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


Contribute ›

Prisoner of war

Contribute ›
  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

Contribute ›
  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
    Lost at sea AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
  • Petty Officer Douglas Harvey was the eldest son of Mr Arthur John and Mrs Eileen Doris Harvey, Newton Street, Fitzroy, Taranaki.

    He was educated at Fitzroy School and New Plymouth Boys' High School and at 16 joined the navy. Initially as a member of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy he was posted to the Philomel.

    He served on several New Zealand ships including the cruisers Diomede and Dunedin. He was a member of the Dunedin's complement when that ship returned to England where he remained for three years. He was in England at the time of the coronation of King George VI.

    Described as jovial and positive in all he did he had the pride so richly earned of wearing the Achilles cap tally.

    Transferred to the Grenville, the flagship of the Mediterranean Destroyer Flotilla, Harvey was involved in taking refugees from Spain to Marseilles during the Spanish Civil War. Following six months on the Grenville he served for nine months on the aircraft-carrier Courageous. After that he joined the Windsor and then the Achilles. He served on Achilles from 27 January 1939 to 11 September 1941. In December 1939, as a member of Achilles A Turret, he took part in the first great naval battle of World War II. Together with HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter, Achilles took part in the Battle of the River Plate, resulting in the destruction of the Graf Spee.

    He had an interesting assignment in September 1941 when he was responsible for escorting 80 cadets to India on the commandeered liner Aquitania.

    He subsequently served on the Neptune until she was sunk in December 1941.

    He was one of 132 New Zealand ratings who went missing as a result of the loss of H.M.S. Neptune.

    The Auckland Museum Library has a copy of a letter written by Harvey to his mother on 23 November on board the Neptune (approximately four weeks before she sank). In it he discusses the bombardments of Bardia, working 'in conjunction with the Fleet Air Arm - in fact it is usually one of the squadrons that was carried on board Courageous when I was on her'. He encourages his family to listen to the Sunday morning radio broadcasts to see if they recognise his voice.

    Neptune's Legacy by Nixie Taverner. 132 New Zealand ratings went missing as a result of the loss of H.M.S. Neptune. HMS Neptune was launched at Portsmouth on 31 January 1933. She was one of five 'Leander' class light cruisers completed between 1933 and 1935. Two others were HMS Achilles and Leander serving in the RNZN. They displaced 7,200 tons, could make 32 knots and carried eight 6 inch guns and 550 crew. The Neptune was in the Mediterranean from 1 December 1941 as part of Force K which was searching for Axis shipping, especially those taking supplies to Rommel in North Africa. Early on the 19th the ships of Force K ran into a minefield.The Neptune hit three or four mines and sank with only one survivor. At the same time the Aurora was badly damaged and Penelope slightly.Trying to reach Neptune to assist, the destroyer Kandahar was mined and had to be scuttled the following day. On the same day in Alexandria harbour the Queen Elizabeth with Admiral Cunningham on board and the Valiant were both badly damaged and sank.The Mediterranean Fleet battle squadron ceased to exist. Of the total crew of 766 there was only one survivor.He was rescued off a raft five days later by an Italian destroyer and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp. AWMM
Read more


About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    19 December 1941 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Mediterranean AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name
    • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Fitzroy Primary School Memorial Gates
      New Plymouth Boys High School Memorial Gates Public - Ross - Other relative - 28 March 2018 - photographs of these gates

Roll of Honour

Remember Douglas Munro Harvey by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Douglas Munro Harvey

Leave a note

Contribute ›



Contribute ›
  • External links
  • References
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
      Harvey, Douglas Munro. Papers, 1941. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/47. AWMM
    • Harker, J.S. (2001). The birth and growth of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Durham, England: Pentland Press. AWMM
    • Taverner, N. (2003). Neptune's Legacy. Fleet Hargate, England: Arcturus Press. AWMM
    • McGregor, J., & Clayton, D. (2005). Neptune and Kandahar Memorial. (Building). AWMM
    • Hudson, N. (2008). Sole survivor: one man's journey - biography of John Norman Walton, the sole survivor of HMS Neptune. England: The Memoir Club. AWMM
    • St Clair, A. (2005). Mediterranean minefield: disaster of HMS Neptune. England: The Neptune Association. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
28 March 2018RossWoodbury,Canterbury,New ZealandOther relative

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Creative Commons LicenseOnline Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.