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.
Manning the guns
"She had six inch guns on either side"
She had six inch guns on either side. The starboard side was manned by the Royal Marines, the port side, just above the water line, was manned by sailors. Six inch guns, breach loading guns. The upper deck, the twin four inch guns that they had on the upper deck were purely anti-aircraft- high angle and low angle- you could shoot at something on the horizon.
But other than that, they were all little ones eight barrel pom poms which they called Chicago Pianos because they had a kind of a rhythm. Multiple barrels, and you fire one then another, then another and itís going boom boom boom. And all together, itís like a chorus. It seems daft to say that but it did when you had all the little ones going bang bang bang and your own gun crashing away firing two barrels at the same time- twin four inch, and then all the other stuff going.
But when the big stuff, the big 15 inch guns were firing, if your mounting was near the guns on the after end, and she was training, training those guns on the beam, we had to evacuate our mounting for the blast that came off these particular guns, and it was all, you know, all big stuff. Fairly terrifying. And you looked at each other as young lads, we did, and it would be silly to say that you werenít frightened, you were.
Bob has 15 memories in the memorynet:
Bob's memories with a Wartime theme:
- Manning the guns
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