Thursday, 25 August 2016

Arthur Cash, despatch rider

4028 Driver Arthur Lancelot Cash, 2nd Tunnelling Company, was the son of W.E. Cash, well known Coburg identity of 'Convamore', 37 The Grove, Moreland. William Cash not only ran a successful plumbing business, but was a Coburg Councillor for many years and served several terms as Mayor.

Arthur Cash, a sign writer by profession, served with the 2nd Tunnelling Company from 1916 until his return to Australia in 1919. Until very recently, there were no known photographs of Arthur taken during his war service, but thanks to a family member in England, we now have this marvellous photograph of Arthur during his period as a despatch rider (he's the one riding the Douglas motor cycle). 

He also sent this Christmas postcard home to his family in 1918. It was produced by Officers, NCOs and men of the 2nd Tunnelling Company who were 'Somewhere in France'.

By the time the postcard reached home, the war was over, so families such as the Cashes would have been eagerly anticipating the return of their soldier sons, husbands and brothers.

Arthur Cash returned home in time to say farewell to his ailing mother, who died shortly after his arrival back in Australia. He married an English woman Clarice (Clare) Lund in 1920 and they spent a number of years in the 1920s running the Council Club Hotel in Chiltern in northern Victoria. On their return to the city they settled in Brighton and after Clare's death in 1948, Arthur married Minnie Burke. They had two children who have few memories of their father, as he died on his son's 7th birthday in 1958.

But now, almost a hundred years after the end of WW1, family members in the UK have reconnected with family members here in Australia and shared parts of their history that were previously unknown. And in doing so, they have enabled me to commemorate the war service of men like Arthur Cash who travelled so far to defend what they thought of as the Mother Country.

Thanks again to Julian in England for sharing these images (and family stories) with Arthur Cash's children here in Australia.