Kettle Drummer Sergeant John Casey died in hospital on 22 November 1988 aged 84.

KD Sgt J Casey, 3rd Hussars
KD Sgt J Casey, 3rd Hussars

In 1918 aged 14, he left the Hibernian military school in Belfast and enlisted into the 3rd Hussars as a Band Boy. As a member of the Regimental Band, he served in Aldershot, Turkey, Egypt, India and York until 1940 when, because of injury he had to leave the Regiment and was posted to the 53 T.R. RAC stationed in Mooltan Barracks, Tidworth.

During his service with the Band, he was appointed as Kettle Drummer Sergeant, a rank unique to the 3rd Hussars.

He was one of the few men in the army who was better known by his rank, than his real name, to this day he is still referred to as K D Casey. He was fiercely loyal to his Regiment, which made it a very proud day when he and “Mary” led the 3rd Hussars on their last Mounted Parade.

A keen sportsman, he represented the Regiment in football, hockey and cricket, which no doubt contributed to his later leg injuries. His close contemporaries tell me his best asset was his kindness and humanity.

In the days of tough soldiering, when Band Boys didn’t count for very much, he would be seen giving a helping hand to the young soldiers under his care.

He met his wife during the Regiments stay at Pocklington just before the war, and where later he became Chairman of the Parish Council.

It will be difficult to forget K D Casey as the painting of him and his beloved “Mary” will long be admired by all who see it.

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