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

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 21:18

Essex beat Middlesex by six wickets with four balls remaining after chasing down the home side’s victory target of 211 at a packed Lord’s on Thursday evening.

Paul Stirling
Yesterday, 16:00

A piece from our Kick-Off pullout, where we preview the new National League season for Leyton Orient

Alex Lawless
Yesterday, 15:09

An 11-year-old girl is believed to be the youngest person in the country to pass an A or AS level exam.

Stratford
Yesterday, 14:28

Abed Mosa-Al-Refaee, a Syrian refugee who fled the civil war in 2012, was among those celebrating A-level results in Newham today.

United Kingdom
Yesterday, 12:19

The headteacher of St Bonaventure’s has said that he is pleased with the school’s A-level results, which saw 100 per cent A*-C pass rate in eight subjects.

Forest Gate
Yesterday, 12:00

Marvin Ekpiteta has stepped up to the plate in the absence of the experienced defender

Alex Lawless
Yesterday, 11:34

A record number of students at the London Academy of Excellence have got into top universities.

Forest Gate
Yesterday, 10:41

More than 100 pupils at Brampton Manor Academy are celebrating straight A* and A grades this morning - and the entire year group have secured university places.

Brampton Manor Academy

PROMOTED CONTENT

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

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