Sgt. Michael Healy, who served with the Royal Munster Fusiliers, was one of the most decorated Irishmen of World War One. Born in Dungarvan, he lived most of his life in Wales. Below is an account of the medal ceremony at which his mother received the Albert Medal on his behalf. Sgt. Healy's descendents still live in the town.
"Mrs. Healey of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, received from the King at the investiture on Saturday the Albert Medal awarded to her son Sergeant Michael Healey". Healey who was 26 years of age, was employed at Pontardawe steel works for seven years before joining the colours. He was awarded the D.C.M. for capturing a machine-gun and five prisoners, and later he was awarded the Military Medal. He also obtained a bar to his Military Medal, and with the Albert Medal this was his fourth decoration. The deed for which he was honoured on Saturday cost him his life. A bomb struck a parapet and rolled into his trench. Healey rushed to pick it up and was killed, but his act saved an officer and three comrades."
"It was quite easy to talk to the King, said Mrs. Healey to a press representative, "he put me at my ease and conversed in homely fashion with me. He expressed deep sympathy with me in my loss, and congratulated me upon having had such a son. He also talked about the food situation, and hoped that I did not have to wait in queues."
"Sergeant Healey died in February of last year, and a few weeks prior to that was home on leave, and was the recipient of a purse of treasury notes from his numerous friends at Pontardawe. Mrs. Healey is expected at Pontardawe this week where her younger son Mr. Dennis Healey resides."
Sources : London Gazette, Soldiers Died in the Great War.