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Cashmore, Bernard

Driver Bernard Cashmore was a member of the Royal Army Service Corps, Service No. 5722304, POW No. 1340. Source: UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 accessed through

Bernard Cashmore was born in Aston, Birmingham, England on 30th June 1906. In 1924 at the age of 18 he enlisted into the Army and served seven years in the Dorsetshire Regiment then a further five years on the reserve service.

When WW2 broke out in 1939 he was married with 2 daughters. He joined the Royal Army Service Corps 19th Coy in the 8th Army Army (Service Number 5722304) as a Driver and served in France and Egypt before being posted to Greece. He was captured by the Germans at Kalamata on 29th April 1941 and imprisoned in Stalag XVIIIA at Wolfsberg, Austria on 29 June 1941, the eve of his 35th birthday. Next day he was assigned  Prisoner Number 1340. He was a POW at work camps in Zollfeld and Steindorf before arriving at Klangenfurt on 6th July 1942 where he remained until liberation on 7th May 1945.

In a hand-written statement included in his service records, dated 15 May 1945, Bernard wrote:
On the morning of the 8th May 1945 we were expecting our release having been told by the German Guards that the boys were coming, from our camp we could see the main road and we had our eyes glued on it all excitement. Suddenly one of the fellows shouted “Here they come” there was one great stampede through the camp gates to freedom. We lined the street and gave the boys a real good cheer (which they more than deserved) as they rode past grim and still determined looking. After two days of making friends with our releasers we proceeded to the airport which had been made a little ship shape after the severe bombing by the RAF and was flown to Treviso (Italy) We stayed there for that day and was made very comfortable by the RAF everything was done to make us happy. After a good nights sleep we got up had breakfast at 8 o'clock left the Airport at 9 o'clock and was flown to Naples there we were met by transport and brought to No 2 Repatriation Camp. We have been made very comfortable and everything is being done to get us home as quickly as possible. The staff of the repatriation work very hard indeed in good British style.

After the war, Bernard resumed his job as a bus driver for a while. He then worked in a steel foundry and later in a car factory where he worked until his retirement.

Bernard died on the 5th of May 1984 in a Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull, Warwickshire. He was 78.

The above information was provided by Bernard's daughter, Bernadette Smith.

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