Kilbride Parish Church War Memorial

 

William Lindsay Cassidy

 William L. Cassidy - Image courtesy of Library & Archives Canada

William L. Cassidy - Image courtesy of Library & Archives Canada

Date of Birth – Given as 28th September 1889 on Canadian army records but recorded as 6th October 1889 in GRONI records (GRONI reference number U/1889/51/1007/35/227)

Place of Birth – Belfast

Date of enlistment – 31st March 1917

Address at time of enlistment – Congregational College, 58 McTavish Street, Montreal, Canada

 Family headstone in Belfast City Cemetery

Family headstone in Belfast City Cemetery

Next of Kin – Anna Cassidy (mother)

Address of next of kin – Ivydene, Ballygomartin Road, Belfast

Trade or Calling – Theological student

Service No. 526924

Unit – 2nd Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps

Rank – Private

Died – 2nd September 1918

Place of Death – near Cherisy, Pas de Calais, France

Age at Death – 28

Buried – Grave reference A. 10, Quebec Cemetery, Cherisy, Pas de Calais, France

Commemorations –Ballyclare War Memorial, Kilbride Parish Church, St Matthew’s Church, Woodvale Road, Belfast and on the headstone marking his parents’ grave in Belfast City Cemetery - grave reference I295.

Marital status – Single

Parents – John Cassidy and Anna Cassidy (née Lindsay)

Married – 24th February 1889 in Belfast

Siblings – (William), John b. 19th July 1891 in Belfast, Charles b. 5th April 1893 in Banbridge, Samuel b. 6th July 1894 in Banbridge, Mabel b. 26th September 1895 in Banbridge, Herbert b. 19th December 1900 in Dungannon, Agnes b. 17th March 1903 in Antrim & James Edward b. 18th December 1904 in Antrim (from 1901 and 1911 census records)

John Cassidy b. About 1868, d. 12th October 1916 aged 48. Address given as Dromara

Anna Cassidy b. About 1868, d. 14th May 1947 aged 78.  Address given as 30 Hillsborough Parade, Castlereagh.

Samuel Cassidy d. 13th November 1984 aged 90.  Address given as Minnowburn House, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast

 

Quebec Cemetery, Cherisy, Pas de Calais, France

 

St Matthew's Church, Woodvale Road, Belfast

 

Records Available

National Archives of Ireland

Census Records

1901 Census – Farlaugh, Tullynaskane, Co. Tyrone

William Cassidy, Son, Episcopalian, 11, Scholar, Belfast

1911 Census – 31 White Rock Road, Belfast

William Cassidy, Son, Church of Ireland, Read and write, 21, Assistant gentleman’s outfitter, Single, Belfast

 

Library and Archives Canada

www.bac-lac.gc.ca

Army records – Soldiers of the First World War 1914 - 1918

Canadian Expeditionary Force - Military Record Timeline for WL Cassidy

31st March 1917  - Enlisted into the Canadian army at Montreal, Quebec.

22nd June 1917 - Embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard SS ‘Justicia’ (see footnote 1 below)

5th July 1917 - Disembarked in Liverpool

7th July 1917 - Course of instruction with Canadian Army Medical Corps at Shorncliffe (see footnote 2 below)

8th February 1918 - Arrived in France via Le Havre

17th February 1918 - Posted to 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance

2nd September 1918 - Reported missing after action

2nd September 1918 - Reported ‘Killed in Action’

 

Circumstances of Death Register 

The circumstances of Private Cassidy’s death are described in a register available on the Library and Archives Canada website

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/circumstances-death-registers/Pages/item.aspx?PageID=39125

The record reads as follows;

  1. No: 526924
  2. Rank or Rating: Private
  3. Surname: Cassidy
  4. Christian Names: William Lindsay
  5. Unit: 2nd Field Ambulance Canadian Medical Corps
  6. Date of Casualty: 2-9-18 
  7. HQ Record No. 649-C-24566
  8. Religion: Congregationalist
  9. Circumstances of Casualty: “Previously reported Missing, now Killed in Action”  Was last seen when he was despatched in charge of two squads of Prisoners of War, to obtain stretchers and blankets.  He did not return and nothing further heard of the Prisoners of War.  No information has been received relative to the actual circumstances under which he met his death.
  10. Name, Relationship and Address of Next of Kin: Blank
  11. Location of Unit at Time of Casualty: Cherisy
  12. Cemetery: Quebec British Cemetery
  13. Location of Cemetery: Commune:- Cherisy
  14. Grave Location: Grave 10, Plot 1, Row “A”
  15. Registered Number of Grave: Blank

 

Footnotes

  1. SS ‘Justicia’ was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and was launched for the Holland America Line on 9th July, 1914.  Her original name was ‘Statendam’ and she was renamed ‘Justicia’ when she was acquired in 1915 by the British government and operated by the Cunard Star Line following the sinking of the SS ‘ Lusitania’.  Due to crewing difficulties she was reassigned to the White Star Line, who had the crew of the sunken ‘Britannic’ available (sister ship of RMS ‘Titanic’).  She was then used as a troop ship.  On 19th July 1918 SS ‘Justicia’ was sailing from Belfast to New York in a convoy and when off the coast of Scotland she was torpedoed by a German submarine but despite being damaged by four torpedoes she remained afloat and her engines were still operable.  Assisted by a tug an attempt was made to reach Lough Swilly in Donegal where she could be beached.  The following morning another submarine hit her with another two torpedoes and the ship eventually sank 28 miles north-west of Malin Head in 68 metres of water.
  2. Shorncliffe, in Kent, was used as a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front during the First World War and in April 1915 a Canadian Training Division was formed there. The Canadian Army Medical Corps had general hospitals based at Shorncliffe from September 1917 to December 1918.