The Court Martialled

Lieutenant Colonel V. V. Harvey
54th (Kootenay) BattalionHarvey

In view of this incident I no longer have confidence in Lt-Col. HARVEY and I recommend that he be removed from the command of the 54th Battalion and returned to England where he may be otherwise employed. I would not again send the Battalion into action under his command.

(Gen. Odlum, 11th Brig. to 54th Bn., May 1917)

Between 11:00am on 21 May and 8:00am 22 May 1917, Valentine Vivian Harvey, his acting second-in-command, Jesse Wright, and the battalion adjutant went absent without leave from camp. For nearly a full day, the 54th Battalion was without its commanding officer. When General Odlum attempted to contact the 54th CO for a 11th Brigade meeting, Harvey was nowhere to be found.

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The Gurkha

Lieutenant Colonel A. H. G. Kemball, D.S.O. †
54th (Kootenay) BattalionKemball

So Kemball was ignored. That gallant officer—the adjective in his case is deserved—defied orders and refused to stay in the rear when his men were in peril. He led them personally on an attack he knew was futile.

(Pierre Burton, Vimy, 1986, 129)

Born in Belgaum, India on 4 January 1861, Arnold Henry Grant Kemball was a professional soldier with thirty-two years’ experience in the Indian Army.  A veteran of the Gurkha Rifles, Kemball served in the Hazara Expedition (1888), the North West Frontier (1897) and Tirah Campaign (1898). He retired as commander of the 5th Gurkhas in 1910 and moved to British Columbia.

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