Dictionary of Sydney

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Transcript: Mr Jack Healy recalls training horses for the army in Liverpool in 1928

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Mr Jack Healy was born in 1908. He was [media]interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' He recalls joining the remount unit [responsible for training horses for the Australian army] at Liverpool in 1928.


INTERVIEWER: When did you join the army?

JACK: 1928.

INTERVIEWER: And what made you decide to join the army?

JACK: Well, I was out of work and a couple of chaps that I knew, as a matter of fact I knew the Commanding Officer too. Then a vacancy came up, chap left, I went down to present myself and went for the medicals and got the job.

INTERVIEWER: Did you view it as a job?

JACK: Oh sure. Money. Yes, money. I think everybody did that.

INTERVIEWER: Was it hard work?

JACK: Oh, yes and no; young horses, handling young horses, driving, riding, all that sort of thing, yes.

INTERVIEWER: You were in the remounts were you?

JACK: That's right. Handling horses, breaking horses, training them for army manoeuvers, military purposes as it may be, staff horses, and ordinary artillery horses.

INTERVIEWER: Whereabouts did they get the horses from?

JACK: Hired them in the country, they were called Murray Walers. And they also bought them for the Indian army. Their horses came from here too. They were a kind of what you'd call a buggy horse really, bigger than a pony, about 16-hand type of thing.

INTERVIEWER: How did they get the horses to Liverpool?

JACK: Train. There used to be a train line went out from here to Holsworthy in those days, used to be the German camp.

INTERVIEWER: Did you know much about horses before you started?

JACK: Well, we always had horses when I was a kid. They were Tuxedo breed, American. We had the fastest horse on Hoxton Park Road. [1]


Catherine Johnson (ed). Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900–1960 (Liverpool: Liverpool City Council, 1986). http://mylibrary.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/Electronicbooks/Lookingbackatliverpoolanoralhistory-1900-1960.pdf


[1] Mr Jack Healy, interviewed for Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900–1960 project, Liverpool City Library, audio, Liverpool, 1986, http://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/OPAC/BIBENQ?BRN=57030