Healey, Florence Alfred 'Bud' (Private, b.1874 - d.1944)

Accession Number PR06391
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm.
Object type Letter, Diary, Document
Maker Healey, Bryan Darwin 'Blue'
Healey, Carl John 'Jack'
Healey, Florence Alfred 'Bud'
Place made Australia, Egypt, France
Date made 1915-1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the First World War service of 3124 Private Florence Alfred Healey, 7th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Palestine. Collection consists of a handwritten diary, a number of letters, and a typescript document. The diary contains irregular entries from 10 May 1917 and covers a period of service in the Middle East. The diary describes the drama of a firefight between two aircraft that Healey has witnessed, Healey’s impressions of Ras Deiran, Gaza and Ramleh (Ramla) including the ethnic mix, local dress, food and languages, housing and landscape; and the impact of the war on the local inhabitants. Healey praises the conduct of British and Australian troops with regard to the local women in contrast to his perception of German conduct in Europe. He discusses a friendship he has developed with a local man who has told him about the Turkish retreat, payment of reparations, and his service with the Turkish Army. Healey relates an incident of six local children being killed while 'playing with one of Jacko’s fancy bombs'.

Letters in the collection are mostly from Florence Healey (also known as ‘Bud’) to various members of his family: his wife Melanie Healey (Mel), son Kevin Leonard Winton Healey (‘Wint’ or 'Winton', the youngest of his nine children), and his daughter Nancy Healey (‘Nance’). The letters cover Healey's impressions of Palestine and his ‘great yarns’ with Reverend William Maitland Woods; and other subjects such as young Winton’s schooling. A letter of 2 November 1917 describes in detail the ‘most sickening and ghastly sight’ of ‘some thousands of dead Tommies’ who had been left unburied at ‘Tank Redoubt’. Other personal letters in the collection are from Carl John Healey, (known as 'Jack', another of Healey's sons) in Gallipoli to his mother, and a brief postcard from Bryan Darwin Healey, (known as 'Blue', another son) to his sister Nance. Also included in the collection are a small number of military letters and documents related to the discharge of Florence and Bryan Healey and other administrative matters.

In addition, the collection includes a four page typescript document of unknown authorship describing a failed attack in which the writer was badly wounded in the shoulder. It describes in detail the bombardment, the injuries obtained by the men, the deaths incurred, and the AMC medical response. It also mentions the ‘shattering’ of the shoulder of another soldier, named as H Rickards.

Also see PR06417 for the records of Healey's son, Kevin Leonard Winton Healey, from the Second World War.