Larry Cassidy – Railway man who went to Belgium with ‘the Buffs’

Name of soldier : Larry Cassidy

Name of descendent : Tommy Cassidy

Tommy Cassidy lives on Great Western Villas, off Great Western Square in Phibsborough on Dublin’s northside. Both Square and Villas were built to house railway workers but also military veterans and, after 1918, there was often an overlap. Larry Cassidy was both.

Already, in the Personal Stories section of this website, we have had references to Great Western Square and to veterans stories. In the old Broadstone rail depot nearby, there is a memorial listing all the rail workers who fell in the Great War.

The houses here were strictly allocated and families were moved around to make way for others. Tommy grew up in a large family and spent much time as a kid on the street and on the Square’s enclosed grass space. There was a strong sense of community. He worked in the railways, as did his father and grandfather.

His father Larry Cassidy was born in 1892 and enlisted for World War One at the age of 23. He served with the East Kent Regiment, popularly known as The Buffs. The nickname came from the 18th century when the regiment, active in Holland, wore buff-coloured facings on their uniforms. Larry also served with the Royal Artillery.

We are grateful to Stephen Callaghan for these details. Stephen is a chronicler of Irish military history and has an excellent website. More here : BLOG | Thebarracksquare

One of the strengths of this project is that it is a two way process – we learn details about the veterans and their families, but they can also learn more about their forebears. In this case, Larry Cassidy’s family were not aware of his regiments.

Your own name : Tommy Cassidy

Your relative : Father, Larry Cassidy

Period of activity : World War One

Specific regiment : East Kent Regiment, Royal Artillery

Aeas served in : The Western Front, Belgium

Did you have much contact with him?

Yes, I remember him from when I was a child, although he died in 1952 when I was still young.

What are the most striking memories of Larry?

He was always back and forth to the railway depot, and had a big circle of friends. He didn’t talk much about the war and he was a heavy smoker.

Larry Cassidy in his army uniform

Where is Larry buried?

He is buried in Glasnevin cemetery.

Do you have any mementos of him?

Only the photographs shown above. We had his letters and medals but they got divided among the family and then went down to the pawn shop, unfortunately, when times got hard

The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) | National Army Museum

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