Desmond Cassidi

Admiral Sir Arthur Desmond Cassidi, GCB (26 January 1925 10 October 2019) was a Royal Navy officer who served as Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command from 1983 to 1984.

Sir Desmond Cassidi
Born(1925-01-26)26 January 1925
Died10 October 2019(2019-10-10) (aged 94)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1938–1985
Commands heldNaval Home Command
Naval Air Command
Naval Manpower and Training
Carriers and Amphibious Ships
HMS Ark Royal
2nd Frigate Squadron
HMS Undaunted
HMS Whitby
820 Naval Air Squadron
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Cassidi joined the Royal Navy in 1938.[1] Commissioned in 1943, he was promoted to sub-lieutenant in February 1944.[2] He served in HMS Cumberland and HMS Hardy with the Iceland Patrols and Russian Convoys during the Second World War and also took part in the Normandy landings.[1]

Cassidi was promoted to lieutenant in February 1946,[3] and to lieutenant commander in October 1953.[4] He became Commanding Officer of 820 Naval Air Squadron in 1954. Promoted to commander on 31 December 1956,[5] he became the commanding officer of HMS Whitby in 1960.[1] He went on to be Assistant Director of Naval Plans (Warfare) in the Ministry of Defence in 1964 and Commanding Officer of HMS Undaunted as well as Captain of the 2nd Frigate Squadron in 1967.[1] In 1970 he returned to the Ministry of Defence as the Director of Naval Plans.[1]

Cassidi became Commanding Officer of HMS Ark Royal in 1972 and Flag Officer, Carriers and Amphibious Ships in 1974.[6] He went on to be Director-General, Naval Manpower and Training in 1975 and Flag Officer Naval Air Command in 1978.[6] He then became Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel in 1979 and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command in 1982.[6] He retired in 1985.[1]

Family and later life

In 1950 Cassidi married Sheelagh Marie Scott; they had one son and two daughters.[6] Following the death of his first wife, he married Deborah Marion Pollock in 1982.[6]

Cassidi lived near Langport in Somerset.[7]

He died on 10 October 2019 at the age of 94.[8]


  1. "Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi GCB". Direct Art. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  2. "No. 36590". The London Gazette. 30 June 1944. p. 3096.
  3. "No. 37487". The London Gazette. 1 March 1946. p. 1187.
  4. "No. 39991". The London Gazette. 20 October 1953. p. 5580.
  5. "No. 40977". The London Gazette. 15 January 1957. p. 363.
  6. Debrett's People of Today 1994
  7. Admiral backs D-Day Anniversary Call Yeovil News, 4 July 2003
  8. Cassidi
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Gordon Tait
Second Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Simon Cassels
Preceded by
Sir James Eberle
Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Stanford
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