Reginald Alfred Charles HEALEY

HEALEY, Reginald Alfred Charles

Service Number: 3511
Enlisted: 27 January 1915, Nominal Roll lists his enlistment date as July 1915 11th Reinforcements
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 54th Infantry Battalion
Born: Woonona, New South Wales, Australia, 4 January 1890
Home Town: Manly, Manly Vale, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Painter
Died: Killed In Action, Fromelles, France, 20 July 1916, aged 26 years
Cemetery: VC Corner Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Manly War Memorial NSW, V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial
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World War 1 Service

27 Jan 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3511, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Nominal Roll lists his enlistment date as July 1915 11th Reinforcements
2 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3511, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 23/19/2 Embarkation details 23/19/2 Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 2 November 1915
14 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 54th Infantry Battalion, per service record Transferred as part of the 'Doubling of the AIF' in Egypt
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3511, 54th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

Reginald Healey

When Reginald Healey, known as Reg, enlisted on July 25 1915 he was 25 and a half years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, a painter by trade, living in Manly, NSW with his wife Irene and two young sons. His second son was born in February, but he and his brother Stephen, (also a painter, also from Manly, also a married father, with a pregnant wife), still enlisted. The family had already lost one older brother killed and another crippled at Gallipoli. Three brothers-in-law also enlisted.
Reg was initially placed in the 2nd Battalion, 11th Reinforcements, he embarked aboard HMAT A14 Euripides on November 2 1915 bound for Egypt.
Once in Egypt he was transferred to the newly formed 54th Battalion during the reorganisation of the AIF following Gallipoli. His new Battalion was made up of a mix of Gallipoli veterans and new recruits from Australia. He was part of the Headquarters Signals section. The 54th became part of the 14th Brigade and the new 5th Division of the AIF. They arrived in Marseille, France on June 29 1916 and were in the centre left of the Australian assault line at Fromelles on July 19, with Battalions from the 8th Brigade to their left and those of the 15th Brigade to their right. They reached their objective, despite taking heavy casualties, but were withdrawn the next morning. Reg was killed in the captured German trench most likely on July 20, his body could not be recovered and (to date) he has no known grave.

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Son of the Reverend Henry Percival Healey who died in 1916 and Rose Ann Healey née MacArtney (died 1893).

Husband of Irene Healey née Kennedy (married 1911, Mosman). They had two children who were infants when their father died at Fromelles.

Healey was seen to be shot through the head in the German lines, most likely on the 20 July 1916.

Brother of Henry Percival Healey (died of wounds, Gallipoli), Ernest Francis Healey (wounded 25 April, Gallipoli, paralysed for life) and Stephen William Healey (wounded, Pozieres).

Reginald lived in Manly, but had close connections with the Kennedy family in Mosman. His brother-in-law Pte. Percy Kennedy was in Healey's section at Fromelles and was close by or witnessed his death.