Search

Blue plaque for East Ham engineer who played key role in D-Day landings

PUBLISHED: 15:03 12 January 2017

Cllr Ken Clark and Major Allan Becketts widow Ida Beckett with other guests at the unveiling event (picture: Andrew Baker)

Cllr Ken Clark and Major Allan Becketts widow Ida Beckett with other guests at the unveiling event (picture: Andrew Baker)

©2016 ANdrew BAkers.co.uk

He might not have fought on the beaches, but Allan Beckett’s role in the D-Day landings cannot be underestimated.

The blue plaque to commemorate Major Allan Beckett (picture: Andrew Baker) The blue plaque to commemorate Major Allan Beckett (picture: Andrew Baker)

The designer, who created the floating bridges used to link temporary portable harbours – known as Mulberry harbours – to the shore, has been honoured for his role in the Second World War with a blue plaque outside his former East Ham home.

Major Beckett’s widow, Ida, and other members of his family joined councillors and representatives from the Royal Engineers at the ceremony on Tuesday.

Born in East Ham in 1914, Allan and his family moved to Montpelier Gardens, where the plaque was placed, five years later.

He lived there until war broke out, when he joined the Royal Engineers and created arguably his most important design.

After the war, Major Beckett initially set up as a freelance civil engineer, then joined Sir Bruce White, Wolfe Barry and Partners, where he designed and advised on major port developments and flood protection projects throughout the world.

He also carried out a feasibility study and subsequent design work, jointly with Rendell Palmer and Tritton, on the Thames Barrier lifting gates.

He married Ida in 1949, and in the same year he was awarded an MBE for his wartime work.

The couple had three children and he died in 2005 aged 91.

Paying tribute to her late husband, Mrs Beckett said: “My husband had many happy memories of his childhood growing up in Montpelier Gardens and he enjoyed living in the lively community of East Ham before the Second World War.

“Allan often told us stories of his adventures here as a child and I think he would be very proud and somewhat surprised if he knew that his old home was being commemorated in this way.

“Many thanks to the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, and his team for this great honour.””

Cllr Ken Clark added: “Allan Beckett’s historic and ingenious designs for the floating roadways made the D-Day landings possible, ultimately helping lead to the beginning of the end of the war.

“He was a visionary in his field and it is right we honour his achievements with a lasting memorial in the form of a blue plaque.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Stories

14:00

Near neighbours have provided five players of 16-man squad between them

13:00

Coaches from Newham-based school to hold training camp for orphans in country

12:00

Teenager made mistake in build-up to second Gunners goal

The O’s boss expressed his frustration with the 1-0 loss, but provided positive news on the future of teenagers Myles Judd and Josh Koroma

Myles Judd
13:56

New research on knife crime and gangs will be shared next week in Stratford.

09:00

Hackney Wick suffered a 2-1 defeat to West Essex in their final home match of the Essex Senior League campaign.

Essex Senior League
13:30

A Forest Gate mother has accused Primark of “rewarding” a racist customer accused of refusing to be served by “black people”.

Forest Gate

A talented student from Plaistow has been offered a place at a prestigious specialist sixth form after passing a rigorous two-hour problem-solving exam and giving two impressive interviews.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now