- Name: Bernard Matthew CASSIDY
- D.O.B: 17th August, 1892
- D.O.A: 28th March, 1918
- D.O.D: 28th March, 1918
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Second Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, 12th Brigade, 4th Division
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
Fampoux, East of Arras, France 28 March 1918
28 March 1918
The First World War 1918
On 28 March 1918, in an attempt to revitalize their flagging Spring offensive, the Germans launched the First Battle of Arras, to the north of their previous line of attack. The British had constructed formidable defences here and the Germans made less progress than they had hoped for, the British withdrawing from the Forward Zone to the Battle Zone. 2nd Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers was in position north of Fampoux, a village on the River Scarpe just east of Arras. The Germans sought to work their way up the communication trenches here and A Company, commanded by Second Lieutenant B M Cassidy, was cut off in the fighting and almost annihilated.
For most conspicuous bravery, self-sacrifice, and exceptional devotion to duty during an hostile attack. At a time when the flank of the division was in danger, Lt. Cassidy was in command of the left company of his battalion, which was in close support. He was given orders prior to the attack that he must hold on to his position to the last. He most nobly carried this out to the letter. The enemy came on in overwhelming numbers and endeavoured to turn the flank. He, however, continually rallied his men under a terrific bombardment. The enemy were several times cleared out of the trench by his personal leadership. His company was eventually surrounded, but Lt. Cassidy still fought on, encouraging and exhorting his men until he was eventually killed. By his most gallant conduct the whole attack was held up at this point and the left flank was undoubtedly saved from what might have been a disaster.