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.