The AIF Project

Francis Benedict HEALEY

Regimental number2652
Other NamesHEALY
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressParramatta Road, Burwood, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs B Healey, Parramatta Road, Burwood, New South Wales
Enlistment date18 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 2 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 14 November 1916
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
88
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Patrick and Bridget HEALY, Mary Street, Auburn, New South Wales
Medals

Military Medal

'As one of a team of Lewis Machine Gunners, he took part in the attack on the GIRD TRENCHES, near FLERS, on 14th November, 1916. Immediately after leaving the 'jumping-off' trench he was wounded, while the other members of his gun team were killed. Disregarding his wound, he carried the gun, single handed, through a heavy barrage, through to the second objective, and there reported to Captain SCOTT, who relieved him and placed the gun in charge of another team, when it did splendid work.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No

Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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