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British Industrial History

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Vassal Frederick Charles Steer Webster

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Colonel Vassal Charles Steer-Webster OBE

1896[1]/7[2] Born in Yorkshire, son of Frederick Arthur Steer Webster and Louisa Steer Webster.

1911 Frank Arthur Steer-Webster 57, journalist, Lain Steer-Webster 48, principal of a private school, Dorothy Steer-Webster 19, Marjory Steer-Webster 17, Audrey Steer-Webster 15, Vassal Steer-Webster 13, Cynthia Steer-Webster 12, Reginald Steer-Webster 8[3]

1914 Charles Steer Webster joined the 13th Battalion, the London Regiment[4].

Possibly involved with the Royal Engineers

1916 Injured and declared physically unfit for war service

1925 Married Vida W. Selvey (previously Robertshaw, nee Selvey) in Derby[5]

1931 Vassal and Wynn Steer Webster arrived at London from Tanganyika; recorded as an engineer[6]

1939 A technical adviser, living in Shardlow with Violet Winifred Steer Webster; he was a pensioner of the 13th London Regiment and ex-captain No.1 Aircraft Com.... [7]

1940 Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant[8]

1942 A silver model "concrete chocolate mattress" was presented to Major Steer Webster inscribed "As a tribute to his ingenuity and energy in discovering a simple solution to the baffling problem that made Dieppe possible" signed N. E. Wates and R. W. Wates December 1942.

1944 Deputy Director of Experimental Engineering in the War Office. Closely involved in the design and realisation of the Mulberry Harbour for which he received personal thanks and mementoes from Winston Churchill.

1944 Conferred OBE; temporary Lieut. Colonel, Royal Engineers

Awarded £1000 by the Royal Commission on Inventions for his mattress device.

1946 Led the "Mulberry Mission" to Canada, explaining the role of the 1942 Dieppe raid on the success of the D-Day landings.

1970 Died in Littleover, Derbyshire[9]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1939 register
  2. 1897 Baptism records
  3. 1911 census
  4. WWI pension record
  5. BMD
  6. Arrivals records
  7. 1939 register
  8. London Gazette 14 June 1940
  9. National probate calendar
  • Mitchell Auctions catalogue 2020 [1]