The exposed escape tunnel leading from the Holzminden Prisoner of War (POW) Camp, in Germany; ...

Accession Number P03473.003
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film copy negative
Maker Cash, John Richard
Place made Germany
Date made November 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


The exposed escape tunnel leading from the Holzminden Prisoner of War (POW) Camp, in Germany; some POWs made a successful escape from the camp in July 1918. The photographer, 2875 Private John Richard Cash, 19th Battalion, exchanged food from his Red Cross parcels with German civilians in return for wirecutters, a map and photographic equipment with which to produce copies of the map for each potential escapee. He also took other photographs around the camp. Cash, a Sydney photographer, enlisted on 18 February 1916 in reinforcements to the 56th Battalion but was re-assigned to the 19th Battalion on his arrival in France. He was listed as missing on 3 May 1917, during the Battle of Bullecourt. Several witnesses claimed that they had seen him die, but in fact he had been badly wounded in the shoulder and partially buried in a shell hole. Rescued and captured by German soldiers, Cash spent the next sixteen weeks in German hospitals near Hannover and Celle before being discharged to Soltan Barrack 30 at Lager 1. In November 1917 he was moved to Holzminden Prisoner of War Camp. In June 1918 he recorded in a postcard to his family that the Germans had issued him with a new set of false teeth. Cash was not among the prisoners who escaped from Holzminden in July 1918. He was repatriated to Hull, in England, on 17 December 1918 and returned to Australia on 25 March 1919.

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