Bob belongs to: The Fishermen's Mission
Bob was born in North Shields. He has worked in the Royal Navy, merchant navy and steam trawlers. Bob is retired and spends his time painting.
Bob was interviewed by Kylea Little on 8 November 2005. The interview took place at North Shields Fishermen's Mission and lasted 52 minutes and 23 seconds.
Joining the Royal Navy
"Because a pal of mine had just joined"
Because a pal of mine had just joined. We both volunteered, and he came to our door and he says, a lad called George Wilkinson who died recently in Australia, he emigrated after the war with his wife and three children. And as I say we both, he came to our house and said he had joined up, volunteered. And I said, “where did you go?” and he said, “you get the train to Manors in Newcastle and you go to Jubilee Schools and that’s where you can either join the army, the air force or the navy." So I went up that day and I joined up. And we waited a while and we were sent for. He was thinking that we would both get away together in the same training establishment, but he was sent to Ganges in Harwich and I was sent to HMS Collingwood training centre in Fareham in Hampshire, where I did all my seamanship training and gunnery training and eventually was sent to a battleship called the Malaya which was lying in Rosyth dock, and what an experience that was.
Well, it was so big! I mean I’m used to ships on the river but I hadn’t seen anything that big, you know. And it looked bigger because it was alongside where we got off the buses and we stood in two ranks looking at this thing and as I say, I was telling you before, when you walked up the gangway, there were people on there that were picking, picking out the ones that would, you know, some of them took you under their wing, I’m not putting it down in any way, but there some vicious characters who said, “I’ll have him.” And that was to work your penance sort of thing and could be nasty if you reneged against it, which I did and I ended up doing punishment. And they had levels of punishment- you could number elevens which was a pack on your back and a rifle and run for an hour.
Bob has 15 memories in the memorynet:
Bob's memories with a Wartime theme:
Bob's other memories:
- Joining the Royal Navy
- Life after the Royal Navy
- Joining the trawlers as a cook
- The merchant navy and St. Elmo's Fire
- Landing the catch on North Shields Fish Quay
- Swimming under the ice store
- The smell of the smoke houses
- Taking a break on the Suez Canal
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 2
- Bob Cawley at San Domingo
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 1
- Individual Certificate
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 3
- Painting of Trawler and North Shields Fish Quay