Tributes to veteran Bob, 93

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A Scarborough war veteran and well-known Poppy Appeal supporter who was honoured with the Military Medal has died aged 93.

Robert Cass MM, who was known to many as Bob, passed away on June 12 and will have full military honours at his funeral on Tuesday.

A Scarborough man born and bred, Mr Cass joined the army of the first day of the Second World War, aged 19, not telling the authorities that he had a reserved occupation on the railways.

He served with the 5th Battalion, The Green Howards and was one of the last to be evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk aboard HMS Venomous in 1940.

Mr Cass then served in the western desert in Libya, where he was in command of a 3” mortar during the action on May 29 to June 1, 1942.

His citation, which led to him being awarded the Military Medal, read: “L/Sgt Cass deserves special mention for the manner in which he directed the fire of his mortar detachment.

“His coolness under enemy bombardment maintained the efficiency of the detachment and the fire which he continued to bring down on the enemy, until all his ammunition was expended, did much towards enabling the company to hold its position.”

Towards the end of the war, Mr Cass was captured by the Italians and taken as a prisoner of war by the Germans until the war drew to a close and he was released.

In recent years, the veteran has supported the Poppy Appeal by selling poppies in Scarborough town centre, usually near the entrance to Wilkinsons.

John Anderson, secretary of the Scarborough branch of the Royal British Legion, paid tribute, saying: “He was a superstar. Most people knew him and he was well regarded and respected.”

Mr Cass, who lived in Eastfield, spent his working life on the railways, starting as a cleaner and working his way up to driving both steam and diesel engines.

He loved taking part in dog shows with his Old English Sheepdogs, the first of which he bought in 1959 for his sons Peter and Michael, with Peter naming the dog Major Seth of Westway.

Mr Cass became president of the North Western Old English Sheepdog Club and was an honorary member of several breed clubs. He achieved four 1sts at Crufts and a Challenge Certificate in Richmond with his dog Polly.

His daughter Joanne Moore said: “He was a friend to everybody. He had a love of life and was an all-round good egg. He would talk to anybody about anything.”

A funeral service will be held at Woodlands Crematorium on Tuesday June 25 at 10.40am.