Harold was born at Kangaroo Valley, NSW to Alexander and Alice Sweaney. He attended Fort Street School in Sydney and was a member of the Militia for almost five years. He came to the Inverell district about 1912 to work with his brother managing the Butter and Bacon Factory.
Harold enlisted in Sydney in January 1916, stating he was thirty four years old and married. He joined the 18th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement and sailed from Australia for England on HMAT A40 Ceramic in October 1916. With his Battalion he was sent to France in December and promoted to Lance Sergeant. His war was short as he was Killed in Action at Warlencourt, northern France, on 25 February 1917. Harold has no known grave and his name is among those recorded on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France.
Harold’s few personal possessions, including a wrist watch, diary and postcards were returned to his wife. Mrs. Sweaney was granted a pension of two pounds twelve shillings per fortnight plus an allowance for her eight year old son.
The Inverell Honor Roll is inscribed with Harold’s name.