Robert Lawson Kirton

Name:Robert Lawson Kirton
address:18 Addison Road West Boldon
Service:Home Guard
Service Record:w0 409/27/93/62
Story "My Dad was born at Elder Tree House West Boldon. His parents were Thomas Gibbon Kirton and Margaret Kirton (Nee Armstrong) At this time my Grandfather who had started work as a Coop Butchers boy in the 1890ís was Butchery Manager and livestock buyer for the Coop covering Pelaw and the Boldonís."
"By the time Dad left school Grandfather had bought the property in North Road Boldon Colliery to set up a Butchers business of his own. Although Dadís first choice was to go into farming, he along with his brother, my Uncle Tom were obliged to work in the butchers shop which they ran together till my brother and I took over after their retirement."
"My Mam Elizabeth Ann (Nee Scullion) born 23/8/1910 and Dad were married at St Hildaís Church South Shields Easter Monday April 17th. 1933."

Robert a Master Butcher by trade on the 1939 register was listed as an ambulance Driver (here pictured with his motor Cycle). Later Robert Signed up on the 28/5/1940 West Boldon Home Guard in the 7th Battalion in 1943 he was made corporal then Subsequently Sergeant in the August of 1943 he transfered to the 71st Battalion Heavy Anti Aircraft where he remained until disbandment of the Home Guard

"A little story with connection to his Home Guard Days he told was that, I think it was several years after the War he had a hearing problem in one ear and on visiting the local Doc. probably Doctor Ingram the Doc proceeded to remove a piece of Gun Cotton from the said ear which Dad had used to mute the sound of the gunfire during artillery practice."

"Sadly Mam died aged only 53 when I was 20. Dad remarried Norah (Nee Crook) in 1965 and retired to Falstone near Kielder where Norah took up the post of District Nurse and subsequently on Norahís retirement they moved to Burnside Cottage Rochester near Otterburn. He continued to attend Ponteland Livestock Mart where he loved to mix with the Farmers and other Butchers to buy livestock for us when he was well into his 80ís and continued to keep his hand in selling meat to the locals to fill their freezers."
"In retirement he did a little bit of painting and Stick making from sheepís horns. I still have several of the sticks he made. He liked walking and visiting the local pubs sometimes for more than the occasional drink"
"His wish of course was to spend the rest of his life at his cottage in Rochester but unfortunately Norah died aged only 70 in 1996. Dad came back to Boldon to live with me but didnít settle and went back to live in a Nursing Home in Otterburn where he died aged 90 on Nov 18th 1999."

Source: J Kirton July/2017

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