Robert’s sea book is worth its salt

Robert Watson.
Robert Watson.

THE tale of a merchant sailor who sees the full horror of war, but finds love and peace in his life, forms the basis of a new book by a Lancaster author.

Robert J Watson’s third novel, A Merchantman’s War, is one man’s fictional account of the Second World War, when more than 50,000 merchant sailors were killed or injured.

John Gregory was 17 when he left home to begin a career at sea working as a lowly deck boy, unaware that war was just around the corner.

This story is about how he was forced to grow up quickly as disaster raged all around him.

Robert, who has been married for 26 years and has five children and six grandchildren, was born and bred in Lancaster, and has the sea in his blood.

His father was a keen trawlerman, and wanted Robert to work on deep sea trawlers.

However, he went into the Merchant Navy instead.

“I spent five-and-a-half fantastic years at sea, working on deck and in the engine room,” said Robert, a former pupil at Our Lady’s High School.

“I was very lucky to see so many places and had the most amazing time.”

See The Visitor (15-11-11) for full story.