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Robert William Kearvell (1922-2002 ) was born in Bosham Sussex, the second child of William Kearvell (1890-1976) and Daisy Kate (1899-1922), brother to his elder sister Edna May Kearvell (1920- 1973). Sadly, Robert’s mother died shortly after his birth but he grew up in Bosham with the help and care of his aunt Lillian Kearvell (1888–1954). Robert eventually left school and started work alongside his father on the farm of John Strange.


The peaceful years in the Sussex countryside were soon to be overtaken by War with Germany. Robert was old enough in 1941 to enlist in the Royal Navy. His first ship was the destroyer, "Puckeridge", but on convoy duty to Russia on the ‘unlucky’ 13th December 1941, the "Puckeridge" was blown up by a German dive-bomber whilst crossing the Irish Sea. Fortunate to survive the sinking, Robert was first taken to hospital in Wales before being transferred to the RAF Hospital at St Athan, where he remained for several months to recuperate from his injuries.


Eventually, Able seaman Kearvell was able to resume active duty and, for a while, joined the crew of an experimental mine-layer before being posted to Africa to join the battleship "Revenge".


During his war service Robert had spent some time in a wartime pen friendship with Irene Hall from South Shields and in 1944, whilst he was on some well earned leave, the couple were married. Further service in the Royal Navy involved duty on the battleships "Ramilles" and "Malaya", before Robert was demobbed in January 1948.


He returned to settle and bring up his family in the North East of England where he worked in the building trade and in sheet metal work for Else and Gibbons before retiring in 1987. Robert’s family are his three sons, Kenneth (1945- ), Alan (1954- ), Brian (1965- ) and his daughter Irene (1949- ) together with their spouses and children who all live in the Tyne and Wear area.


Robert is the first known member of the Kearvell family to have moved from the Sussex coast to the North East. Clearly, Irene’s way with words was instrumental in persuading this son of Sussex to make the long move to the North East of England!


(compiled with help from Robert’s daughter, Irene, and one of his grandchildren, Robert jnr.)

The 'Power of the Pen' moves a Southerner to the North East

- part of the story of the first Kearvell to live in the north east of England

HMS Revenge

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