Turkish Sniper strikes again

98 Ernest Francis Healey
98 Ernest Francis Healey

98 Ernest Francis Healey  known as Frank was 27 years old and married but attested to being single. His wife Daisy Adeline Healey ( nee Thompson) had tracked him down and she was later added as his next- of- kin.  He was a ‘painter and letterer’ known today as a signwriter originally from Dudley, Newcastle NSW.
At Gallipoli on the landing, Frank was another casualty of a sniper. He was sniped on the 25th April and was paralysed from the waist down. Frank returned to Australia in September and was one of the first “Cot Cases” an unfortunate description, at the No.4 Australian General Hospital at Randwick.

Sapper Healey Canary Cottage

For the following 13 years Frank was never able to leave an inflatable mattress, and managed to see the Sydney city streets on only two occasions, each time from an ambulance.

The following are some excerpts from published news articles about Frank after his death in August 1928.



“………Sapper Healy was shot in the spine on Gallipoli, and was invalided back to Australia in 1915. For 13 years he lay helpless on an air cushion Throughout his terrible ordeal Sapper Healy showed remarkable fortitude and became a familiar figure to thousands of visitors to Randwick Hospital as the occupier for about five years of “Canary Cottage,” a tent placed at his disposal near the entrance to the hospital.  Later he became an Inmate of Graythwaite, and recently had been residing at his home, at Lane Cove The Returned Soldiers Club recently completed the erection of a motor garage to house a motor car which had been specially constructed for his use.    Source :/nla.news-article16485501

 Photo from Randwick



“The remains of the late Sapper Frank Healey, of the  AIF, who was a cot case for 13 years as a result of having been shot through the spine at Gallipoli………….. cremated at the Rookwood cemetery last week. ” Owing to paralysis, which developed from the injury to the spine, Sapper Healey has nether been able to leave an air-inflated mattress since his return to Sydney in 1916, he saw the city on two occasions, each time from an ambulance.

A motor car, specially built to accommodate his wheeled bed, was delivered to his home at Lane Cove a fortnight ago but he had not been able to use it, as the heart trouble, which culminated in his death, had been in acute form for two months. Diggers pay a tribute, to the devoted attention given by Mrs. Healey, the widow, during the long years of her husbands  illness. She nursed him night and day. A soldier, brother of Sapper Healey was killed, in France. . Among the wreaths was one from the Returned Soldiers’, League, which was also represented at the funeral. ”  Source : nla.news-article102492368

Shattered Anzacs

Frank Healey was remembered recently in a publication “Shattered Anzacs” by Marina Larsson. The cover of which above has a haunting image of the realty of life for many families after the war.

The following is a link to another interesting read about Frank………


Sources and Acknowledgements:

State Library of  NSW – Remnants from Randwick


Marina Larson – “Shattered Anzacs”


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