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.
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 DIES.
13 YEARS ORDEAL.
WREATH FROM R.S.L. CREMATED AT ROOKWOOD
“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
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
AWM, NLA, NAA
Marina Larson – “Shattered Anzacs”