Robert Norman Watson was born on the 14th January 1891, in 20 Chichester Road, Westoe, South Shields, Durham. His parents were Charles John Watson and Mary Ann Stewart Dunn. His father was a butcher (manager).
His birth was registered on the 19th February 1891 in South Shields.
Sinking of the Larpool
This was to be the only ship the U-208 sank, as the U-208 was herself sunk (with all hands lost) five weeks later on 7 Dec, 1941, in the Atlantic west of Gibraltar, in position 35.51N, 07.45W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Harvester and HMS Hesperus.
"To go back to the Larpool. The firemen, three watches of firemen two each
and one trimmer. One of the first jobs a watch did when they came on was to
clean one of the fires. Three fires to each boiler six fires. Each watch got two
fires to clean. One man on each to clean it. The previous watch used to put a
layer of fresh coal all over the fire. Then as soon as the new watch came on
they turned half that coal on top of the other half. Then proceeded to rake the
clinker. There was very little ash by then, it was just clinker, and they raked
that out. All the clinker out. It used to come out and fall down at their feet
very hot. white hot all the fumes and that right at their feet. When they had
cleaned one half they put the coal both halves over at the other side and
cleaned the other half. Then spread the coal about and started to stoke the fire
up. It was one hell of a job especially in tropics. If you go down to the engine
room you couldn't touch the handrails. You had to hare a cloth otherwise you
burnt your hands. On deck you could literally fry an egg. On the deck you could
not walk hare foot on it at all; it was that scalding hot. They used to come up
after cleaning a fire absolutely wringing drowned wet. But haring got the fire
FRANCIS, First Radio Officer, JOHN JAMES. (BOURNEMOUTH).S.S. Larpool
(Whitby). Merchant Navy. Died Sunday 2 November 1941. Aged 27. Nephew of
Elizabeth Francis of Boscombe, Hampshire. Panel 64. Johnís 3872 ton steam
freighter built in 1924 by William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd, Sunderland, County
Durham and owned by Headlam & Sons, Whitby, Yorkshire was a straggler from the
convoy ON-27, when she became the sole successful Ďkillí by the u-boat U-208
commanded by Oberleutnant zur See (Lieutenant) Alfred Schlieper, S.S. Larpool
was torpedoed at 0526 hours about 250 miles east south east of Cape
Race,Newfoundland whilst traveling from London to Barbados and Demerara with
3991 tons of general cargo, 22 crew members and four DEMS gunners were lost in
the sinking, butthe Master Charles Patton and five crew members landed at Burin,
Newfoundland on 10 November, crew members were picked up by the Canadian Flower
class corvette HMCS Bittersweet (182) (ex HMS Bittersweet) commanded by
Lieutenant Commander J.A. Woods and landed at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Alfred
Schlieper and his crew of 44 were all lost when the U-208 was sunk on Sunday 7
December 1941 in the Atlantic Ocean west of Gibraltar, in position 35.51N,
07.45W, by depth charges from the Royal Navy Havant class destroyers HMS
Harvester (H19) andHMS Hesperus (H57), the latter was on of the ships which were
commanded by Captain Donald MacIntyre DSO & 2 Bars, DSC during the Second World
War, who following his retirement from the Royal Navy in 1954, became a much
respected naval historian with several successful and important books to his
credit. A type VIIC submarine the U-208 was built by F Krupp, Germaniawerft, AG
in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the U-208 was laid down on Monday 5 August
1940 and commissioned on Saturday 5 July 1941, being amongst 131 submarines of
different types that were commissioned into the Kriegsmarine from their Kiel
shipyard between the end of June 1935 and Saturday 14 April 1945.
Robert Norman Watson, registered in the March Quarter 1891 in the district of South Shields, Volume 10a, page 782
Robert Norman Watson's birth was registered on the 19th February 1891 in South Shields.
He was born on the 14th January 1891 in 20 Chichester Road, Westoe, South Shields, Durham. His parents were Charles John Watson and Mary Ann Stewart Watson (formerly Dunn). His father was a butcher (manager).