b. c. 1892 Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland. d. 02/03/1917 Chuignolles, France.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 01/03/1917 Chuignolles, France.
Michael was the son of Annie Healy, of Ballinamuck, Dungarvan, County Waterford. He worked at Gilbertson’s Works, Pontardawe prior to the war and enlisted at Swansea into the Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was posted to France on 24 May 1915, joining the 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, which was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The division had just been heavily involved in the Battle of Aubers, before moving South to Loos, where it fought during the Battle of Loos, and the action at the Hohenzollern redoubt. In July 1916 the division marched south to the Somme, and took part in heavy fighting during the Battles of Bazentin, Pozieres, Flers-Courcelette and Morval. By the end of the Somme offensive, Michael had gained three gallantry awards: the DCM, MM and a Bar to his MM. The citation to his DCM was published in the London Gazette of 22 September 1916, and stated: ‘For conspicuous gallantry in stemming with a few others, an enemy onrush with bombs and, subsequently, led a counter-attack, which succeeded in reaching the objective.’ Following the closure of the Somme offensive, the division followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917. Michael was badly wounded on 1 March 1917 when attempting to pick up a live hand grenade which a fellow soldier had thrown but has bounced back into the trench and exploded in his hand. He died of his wounds on the following day, 2 March 1917, aged 25. Michael is buried in grave II.B.53. in Bray Military Cemetery, France.
In France, on the 1st March, 1917, during bombing practice, a live bomb failed to clear the parapet, and rolled back into the trench, which, was occupied by the thrower, an officer, and Sergeant Healy. All three ran for shelter, but Sergeant Healy, fearing that the others would not reach shelter in time, ran back and picked up the bomb, which exploded, and mortally wounded him. Sergeant Healy had previously performed other acts of distinguished gallantry, for which he had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the Military Medal, and a bar to the Military Medal.
BURIAL LOCATION: BRAY MILITARY CEMETERY, BRAY-SUR-SOMME, FRANCE.
PLOT II, ROW B, GRAVE 53.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.