Bearsden war hero clocks up his 100th birthday

editorial image

From left, Robert Sawers (son), Bob Sawers and Jean Dunn (daughter) cut the birthday cake

Second World War naval veteran Bob Sawers celebrated his 100th birthday with a special lunch at Milngavie Community Centre.

This was followed by a party for the centenarian at a local social club attended by more than 150 family and friends.

As part of the celebrations, Bob, who served in the Royal Navy from 1940-46, also visited HM Naval Base on the Clyde as guest of honour.

Accompanied by granddaughter Jennifer Murray, Bob was given a tour of Sandown-class minehunters HMS Bangor and HMS Ramsey.

Naval base officer, Commander John Humphrey said: “It was an honour and a privilege to show Bob the Naval Base.”

Serving with the Royal Navy, Bob spent time with Fleet Repair Ship HMS Resource, which was stationed in the Mediterranean and with the Eastern Fleet. As an Ordnance Artificer he was responsible for inspecting, testing, storing and preparing a variety of guns, shells, mines and bombs. He also worked on HMS Greyhound, HMS Bonaventure and HMS Barham, serving in Alexandria, Algiers and Bejaia.

On leaving the navy, Robert worked at Meechans in Scotstoun where he had served as an apprentice fitter before the war.

He later moved to Thermotank in Govan where he was an engineer specialist in air conditioning and cooling, working on many of the ships being constructed at the Clyde shipyards. He worked there until his retirement.

Robert’s granddaughter, Jennifer, who is a police constable with the MoD, said:“It is difficult to find a birthday present for someone turning 100 so I wanted to do something no-one else could do for my Papa and it was a day to remember.”

She added: “His experience of being a sailor in the Second World War was very different from these days, but he still shares that connection with the Royal Navy of today. I am immensely proud of him.”

His family said the sprightly centenarian still lives life to the full and enjoys singing and dancing with his friends.