Extracted  from the Hamilton Advertiser. 7/9/1940

A dissatisfied warden writes:- The last day of the “Passing Notes” in last Saturday’s ‘Advertiser’ concluded with patting Hamilton on the back because of its immunity from convictions for contraventions of the lighting restrictions. Anyone who is not blind will wonder why there have been no convictions.

The only reason the writer can see is that there is a great deal of slackness on the part of those who should check or summon the offenders. Wardens and police, either or both, are failing in their duty, or else a score or two of offenders could be got every night. The test is: if it can be seen from the outside that there is a light inside, then the black out is not satisfactory.

Black out 1

With this test in mind, let any person take a walk round the various districts in Hamilton and it will be seen that the existing conditions are disgraceful. People should come out and look at their own windows, back and front, after the black-out, and not be content with “oh, that’ll do.” Streaks of light from tops, edges and bottoms of windows can be seen almost everywhere. Another careless fault arises from doors left open with a hall light on. Again, some people, when seeing their visitors away at night, seem to think nothing of opening wide the front door with hall light full on, and lighting the path to the front gate to let their visitors see their way out.

In a broadcast recently, a pilot said he flew for a considerable time over the district he was to visit but could not determine whether he was over the town or a wood near it. Suddenly he saw a pinpoint of light and that gave him his bearing. (That might have been someone showing visitors out.) Well, that was a British pilot looking for his target over Germany.

The very same thing could happen here and the whole district be endangered be somebody’s carelessness. So far, nothing has happened here, but one never knows what night it might happen. The offenders in these lighting restrictions are not confined to one class. The writer has been all over Hamilton and has found lights in all classes of property, quite often in buildings and houses where a good example ought to be shown. Wake up, Hamiltonian’s! Get to it and make the black-out a black black-out.

Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 7/9/1940. Page 5.

Wilma Bolton. 2005.



Robert Cassidy(Wilma Bolton)
Robert Cassiday


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 where you will find great real life stories from the the miners of Hamilton.