Monday, February 21, 2011

The Portsmouth Evening News - Obituary

It is 52 years ago today that Percy F Westerman passed away. Spare a thought today, for Percy and the joy that his books brought to so many children during his fifty year writing career.
This is the Portsmouth local paper obituary. You can also view The Times obituary by clicking on the February '09 Blog Archive.

Books for Boys
Writer of 170 books for boys – mostly about adventure at sea. Mr Percy F Westerman who has died at the age of 82, was a native of Portsmouth.

He was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and in his youth was a clerk in the Dockyard. He married in 1900 and his wife was a former Miss Florence Wager of Portsmouth.

While still working in the Dockyard, he began writing about nautical topics, but his first book for boys “A Lad O’ Grit” was not published until 1908. It was inspired by the Boy Scout movement which was founded by Lord Baden-Powell in that year.

Mr Westerman became interested in Sea Scouting, and many of his books had Sea Scouts has their heroes.

So successful were his early books that he resigned his Admiralty appointment in 1911 to become a full-time writer. For many years he lived on a houseboat on the River Frome at Wareham, Dorset. He never gave up writing and his latest book is due to be published in May. His output, up to the last three years, was between three and five books a year and sales of his books total 1,599,000.

In World War I, he was for a time employed on coast duties with the Royal Navy, but later held a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. In World War II he did valuable work for the Home Guard in Dorset.

The Portsmouth Evening News, Friday 27 February 1959.