Service and sacrifice loomed large in the lives of Harry Healey and his younger brother William Hamley (Ham) Healey. Both played briefly with Norwood before entering the cauldron of World War I.
Harry was born at Kensington on 27 June 1886, the third child and second son of James Healey and his wife Leah, née Oaten. Their family would expand between 1882 and 1903 to seven sons and four daughters.
Harry made no waves in his lone league match as Norwood at home finished strongly to defeat Sturt 8.13 to 6.5 in 1905. Ham played two league games in 1915 and enlisted on 10 February 1916 for war service. Harry joined him as a fellow member of the 43rd Battalion nine days later. Harry, at 29, was seven years older than Ham. A younger brother, Joshua, had enlisted in 1914 and served with the 9th Light Horse in Egypt, Gallipoli and France.
Harry was promoted to lance corporal in England on 22 November 1916 and immediately left for France. He lost his stripe when charged with insubordination in March 1917 for refusing to attend parade. He suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and knee during action in the field in July. He was transferred to England and the leg was amputated. He returned to Australia on 26 March 1918 and was discharged on 23 November . Meanwhile, the family was mourning the loss of Lance Corporal William Hamley Healey DCM, killed in action at Villers Brettonneux, France, on 1 July 1918.
A member of Norwood’s 1901 foundation junior team and a club official, Harry was elected a club life member at the AGM of 19 February 1919.
Harry married Eleanor May Emes at the Wallaroo Methodist Church on 15 January 1919. Their son Harry Hamley Healey was born on 30 September 1920. During World War II, as Staff Sergeant Healey, he performed ordinance work at Keswick and then for 15 months in New Guinea before drowning at Goulburn, NSW, on 3 November 1944. A graduate of the Adelaide School of Music, he had worked for the Allan’s Ltd music firm and played the organ for the Melbourne Street Methodist Sunday School.
Harry and Eleanor celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 1949.
Harry was 82 when he died at Daw Park Repatriation Hospital on 22 August 1968
P Robins, M Coligan Oct 2019