Robert Jack Cawley was born and brought up in Chelmsford, the son of a turner. During the war he served in an R.A.F. anti-aircraft unit in the Mediterranean. He was killed in action in August 1943. His home was in Ockelford Avenue, Chelmsford.
Robert was born in Chelmsford in 1921, the son of Jack Alfred Cawley and Adelaide Beatrice Cawley (nee Sleet). His father had been born in Chelmsford in 1898; his mother also in Chelmsford, in 1900.
The couple had married at St. John’s Church, Moulsham on 5th April 1920. At the time Robert’s father was a 22 year-old turner, living at 10 Compasses Row in Chelmsford. Jack’s bride was aged 19 and lived at 89 Lower Anchor Street.
Robert was baptised at St. John's Church, Moulsham on Boxing Day 1921. By then his parents were living at 89 Lower Anchor Street, with his father still employed as a turner.
Robert had a younger brother, Eric Donald Cawley (1924-1998).
In 1939 Robert's father was appointed Head Warden for Chelmsford's Sector C6. By then the family were living at 39 Ockelford Avenue, Chelmsford.
Robert Jack CAWLEY, Corporal, 2925 Squadron, R.A.F. Regiment
Killed in action in Sicily. Aged 22
During the Second World War Robert served as Corporal 1272583 in 2925 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment. The squadron had a light anti-aircraft role, and was involved in the invasion of Sicily in July 1943.
Robert died on the island on 11th August 1943. He was aged 22.
At the time of Robert's death his parents were still resident at 39 Ockleford Avenue in Chelmsford.
Today Robert lies Catania War Cemetery in Sicily (grave: I. F. 29).
His uncle, Sidney Robert Cawley had been killed in 1921 and is commemorated by Chelmsford's war memorial.
Jack's mother died in 1981; his father three years later.