ESCAPE FROM THE GERMANS.
A year of army service, two years in a prison camp in the hands of the Germans, several months as an outlaw on the hills of Italy.
That is how Private Robert Cassidy of 94 Kenilworth Crescent Burnbank, Hamilton, has spent his four years of Army service.
He arrived home in July 1944 for a well deserved leave following his return to this country. Private Cassidy joined the forces in 1940, and after only a few months training he was transferred to the Mediterranean theatre of operations.
He was taken prisoner by the Germans at Hellsfire Pass a few months later however and was imprisoned in a camp north of Rome. There he spent two long, weary years under the heel of the Nazis, but luck came his way. News came through of the Italian surrender on September 8 last year (1943) and immediately he made good his escape.
He took refuge in the hills and there he lived until February of this year (1944.) Food was scarce, but he managed to remain alive by eating grapes and the meat from stolen pigs and sheep. Then came the rescue. He was transported to Naples by the allied authorities and from there shipped home to this country.
Private Cassidy, who is 28 years of age, is married and has three of a family. A Cameron Highlander, he is the third son of the late Mr Robert Cassidy and of Mrs Cassidy, 35 King Street, Burnbank. Before joining the forces in 1940 he was a miner at Dixon’s Colliery, Blantyre.
The Story was extracted from the Hamilton Advertiser Archives and sent to Historic Hamilton by Wilma Bolton. For more great stories please visit Wilma’s website www.wilmabolton.com where you will find great real life stories from the the miners of Hamilton.