Ambrose Augustin Haley

June 24, 2015

HALEY, Ambrose Augustin- – – – SPC 1908

There were three Haley brothers at St Patrick’s College; Ambrose (SPC 1908), John (SPC 1909-1910) and Urban (SPC 1910). They came to Ballarat from St Helen’s in Tasmania, as boarders. With the opening of St Virgil’s Christian Brothers College in Hobart in 1911, the Haley boys returned to Tasmania to finish their secondary education.

DoB:- – 7 December 1892, St Helens, TAS

Father:- – Thomas Augustin Haley

Mother:- – Mary Ann, nee Fox

Ambrose, a keen athlete who excelled at hurdles, was among the Commercial Class Prize Winners of 1908.

Service No:- 34423

Rank:- – Private, Gunner

Unit:- – 2nd Field Artillery Brigade

Ambrose Haley enlisted on 7 November 1916. He was 23 years and 11 months old, five feet, six and a quarter inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. He was an unmarried man whose occupation was accountant.

Private Haley embarked from Melbourne on 11 May 1917 aboard the Ascanius. He disembarked at Devonport, England and marched in to training camp at Larkhill. With his unit, he proceeded to France on 18 September, and was wounded in action in Belgium the following month, on 11 October 1917.

He was invalided to England where he spent some months recovering from his wound and undergoing further training. In August 1918, Private Haley rejoined his unit in France, but once again was hospitalised in the field a month later. He was sick enough to be transferred in October to Graylingwell Hospital in England where it was discovered that he was suffering from cancer.

Ambrose Haley died of disease, succumbing to carcinoma of the pancreas, lungs, spleen and other organs, on Christmas Day 1918. His body was taken by his brother Urban, who was at the time serving in France, to Ireland for burial in the ancestral graveyard. Ambrose was buried on 30 December 1918 at Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery, County Cork, Ireland.

On the Australian War Memorial circular, Ambrose’s father noted that his son was -‘a musician of exceptional ability, and during his convalescent period was leading flautist in the following hospitals -“ No 7 Canadian Etaples, Carjeux Le Havre’. Ambrose was 26 years old when he died.