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Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011 14:30 
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Joined: 20 Jun 2009 20:55
Posts: 1886
Location: Tamworth ,Staffs,
Custom: Sailors Home Spinner!
Ron Manderson e.mailed this to me today; I thought you should all have a look at it,it's about one our older members who crossed the bar.His user name was Roccija and he was a very modest man,he was famous for his jokes and, although he lived in Canada,he was Scouse to the core.We used to chat regularly on Skype and,when he crossed the bar he left a hole on this site

Robert Fairley
1926 - 2009

Rank / Branch

Bosun's Mate
Merchant Navy


Troop Ships


England, North Atlantic


1943 - 1945


Liverpool, Toronto, Owen Sound


•1939-45 Star
•Atlantic Star
•France & Germany Star & clasp
•Italy Star
•1939-45 War Medal
•20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, and 60th Anniversary of “Victory in the Great Patriotic War” medals
•Normandy 50th Anniversary
•Norwegian Convoy Cup

Life & Family

Robert Fairley was born on December 27th 1926 in Liverpool England. The son of William and Mary Elizabeth Fairley (nee Walters). Bob lived in Liverpool for 16 years and attended Monksdown Rd. Primary school and then Ellergreen Rd. Secondary School.

In 1941-42 Bob worked at Cammell-Laird Shipbuilder. In 1942 he began to work at Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, until late in 1943. After the war Bob continued to sail until 1952. Bob then went back to the Biscuit factory, he worked there until 1956.

Bob moved to Canada in 1957. He lived in Toronto for three months and then moved to Owen Sound.

Bob began to work at RCA Victor in 1957, he worked there until 1960, took some time off and returned in 1961 until 1977. He then worked at Vic. & Grey Trust and then National Trust until December 1991.

Bob married Florence Mulhearn on July 24th, 1954 in Liverpool. Together they had two daughters. Carol, born in 1959, and Alison, born in 1964.

History and Training

Bob volunteered for the Merchant Navy in 1943. He went to Mersyside England to get training as a seaman. He started off as a Junior Ordinary Seaman and went on to become a Senior Ordinary Seaman, an Efficient Deckhand, an Able Bodied Seaman and a Bosun’s Mate.

Bob’s first ship was a troop ship carrying American relief troops to North Africa. Bob then worked on a ship that carried American troops to France for the D-Day invasion. He worked on a ship carrying German prisoners to Canada and a ship carrying Russian troops, who had been forced to fight for Germany, back to Russia. This trip to Murmansk, Russia was a very dangerous one. Bob was sent to Italy with 3000 British troops and supplies in time for Christmas 1944. He then made more trips to Halifax. Bob was in Halifax for VE Day. In June he sailed for Bombay, India with troops to invade Japan. On his way home from India they found out the war was over.

Personal Story & Experiences

During one of the trips back to England from Halifax a fire broke out in the no. 1 hatch. The ship was about 500 miles away from Ireland. Bob and a shipmate were asleep at the time. They found out about the fire when a watchmate woke them up. They put wet towels over their faces and were led up on deck. The captain ordered full speed for Liverpool. They arrived two days later and the firemen were finally able to put the fire out.

While the ship was still at sea, the German radio was broadcasting that it was on fire and had sunk with few survivors. Bob’s mother was very worried until he came home a few days later on leave. It turns out that the fire had been started by timed fire bombs placed at the bottom of the hatch. The bombs were placed when the ship was being loaded with supplies for Britain.

When the War ended in 1945 Bob was in the Red Sea on his way back from India, the men were allowed one pint of beer from the ship canteen to celebrate!

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© 2011 Owen

Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 16 Nov 2011 00:21 
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008 16:47
Posts: 417
Location: Forfar Scotland
Custom: The Caped Crusader
He was a real gent.
Had a drink with him in his navel club in wallasay when he was across.
I missed his next visit much to my dismay.
I hope to pay my respecks to him at his last resting place when I go to Owen sound next year.

As with you I really miss him , with the daliy skype calls. Thro skype I met his young lass and grandkids. Even the cat.
I will try and find the dvd he sent me . This dvd was a copy of the russian TV program about the service held im Mumunsk. If I find it I will copy and send you one .
As you know he was on PQ17 and arrived in russia safely. But never spoke about it .
Ron the batcave

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