We have just received the sad news of the death of Rifleman Albert Leddy who served in Italy and Austria with G Coy, 2nd Battalion London Irish Rifles before becoming a piper with the 1st Battalion in Italy.
Albert had written a little bit about his life in Liverpool prior to being called up:
“When I left school at the age of 14, I started work as a chandler’s boy going out with a horse and covered wagon selling soaps and washing powder and other cleaning materials in and around Liverpool. Then I went to work in a stable for a haulage firm near to Liverpool docks, then later I was sent to another stable to take out a pony and trap used for carrying small loads or the odd bale of cotton. I later went back to the other stable to work with a one-horse wagon working around Liverpool docks and railways. I finished working for them and went to work for a shipping butcher in Old Hall Street and supplied many of the big ships that came into Liverpool docks with meat, veg and fish.
In October 1942, when I turned eighteen, I received my calling up papers for military service…”
When Albert was called up, he was initially posted to the Royal Artillery before transferring to the Faughs in 1943 and then sent out to Italy to join the Irish Brigade as part of a reinforcement draft. He transferred with 2 LIR in the front line in April 1944 just before the final Cassino battles. From the Liri Valley, he journeyed with the London Irish to Trasimeno, Rome and Egypt, returning to Italy in September 1944 for the Gothic Line winter battles, manning the Senio riverbanks and joining the final Kangaroo Army advance through the Argenta Gap up to the river Po in April 1945.
After seven months of rest in Austria, in early 1946, he transferred to 1 LIR, who were then based near Trieste and, there, he learnt to play the pipes. Piper Albert Leddy was de-mobbed from Italy in 1947.
His son, David Leddy, wrote to us to tell us more about his father:
“He was still playing the pipes as late as the last New Year (2020/21) to his fellow residents at his care home. He was really pleased with the pipers’ cap badge that the LIR sent to him and wore it with pride. My grandfather was a coal merchant in Liverpool just before the war and I understand that my father was his pony wagon driver, assisting him to deliver coal. After the war, my father moved to Warwick to live with his brother (Ted) and went to work in the motor industry. At first, he worked at the Ford Foundry in Leamington Spa for a short period, then moved to Coventry to join the Standard Motor Company producing cars. He moved back to Ford and later went again to work for the Standard Motor Company where he stayed for 21 years and, there, joined the works band, the Standard Triumph Pipe Band, with whom he played for many years.”
Albert was 97 years of age. A full, long life indeed !!
Faugh a Ballagh !