Thomas Joseph Cashman
June 21, 2015
CASHMAN, Thomas Joseph- – SPC 1913-1914
DoB:- – c1895, Preston, VIC
Father:– – James F Cashman
Mother:- – Bridget M
Thomas was a boarder at St Patrick’s from the Melbourne suburb of Preston.
Service No:– 2596
Rank:– – Private
Unit:- – 2nd Australian Pioneers
Thomas Cashman enlisted on 17 April 1916 as a 21 year old carpenter. He was completing a five year apprenticeship at James Moore & Sons, South Melbourne.
He was five feet seven and a quarter inches tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.
He embarked from Melbourne on 18 September 1916 aboard the Karroo, arriving at Plymouth on 15 November. Within a month of arriving in England, he was charged with the crime of being Absent Without Leave (AWL) from midnight on 14 December to 2.30pm on 15 December 1916. He had to forfeit two days’ pay for this misdemeanour.
On 1 January 1917, Private Cashman advanced with his unit overseas to Etaples, France. By the end of January he had been admitted to the Segregation Camp at Etaples suffering from scabies. His treatment took two months before he was able to march out to rejoin his unit. Then, by mid-June 1917 he was once again admitted to hospital with trench fever. He rejoined his unit at the end of June.
On 29 September 1917, Private Cashman was severely wounded in action. He died of those wounds at the 14th Australian Field Ambulance in France.
The Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau file, 1DRL/0428 written regarding 2596 Private Thomas Joseph Cashman stated the bald facts:
-‘Died of Wounds’
During an air raid in the advanced area Pte Cashman was wounded by bomb splinters having both his legs severed and wounds in the back.
He died shortly after admission and was buried about 1 -½ miles E from Ypres on the Menin Road
Letter from OC 14th Fld Amb. 24.11.17-¦’
A witness statement recorded:
-‘I did not actually see Cashman killed but I was told by chums that he was killed. He was one of a party proceeding back to Billets, which called in at an Australian Comforts Fund, for drink of coffee. While there an enemy aeroplane dropped bomb, there were 20 casualties, Tom being one of the 20, and died of wounds. I was interested in this boy as he was a very prominent member with a lovely voice for singing at our concert party, of which I am stage manager. Ypres, 29/17
Description:- Medium, very nice looking boy.
Informant:- L/Cpl J Hayes, 2nd Pioneer Battn B Coy 8th Pltn-¦’
Thomas Joseph Cashman was buried at the Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.- He was 21 years old.