antiques & fine art sale

18th - 20th March 2020

Starting at 10.00 am each day

Viewing - Sunday prior 11am - 3 pm, Monday prior 10 am - 5 pm and Tuesday prior 10 am - 7 pm and throughout each sale day

Wednesday 18th Lots 1 - 641

Thursday 19th Lots 642 - 1238

Friday 20th Lots 1239 - 1944

Lot 1113

Military Interest and in particular Dieppe and D Day Landings Mulberry Harbour and Winston S. Churchill - Colonel Vassal Charles Steer-Webster OBE born 1896 an important archive including the following: signed photograph Winston S. Churchill VE Day 1945 with accompanying personal letter to Colonel Steer-Webster "Herewith copy of my Minute - Piers for use on beaches - and an autographed photograph of myself as a gesture of thanks to you for helping me to achieve it by your dedication to Mulberry". NOTE - Colonel Steer-Webster was in almost daily contact with Sir Winston Churchill during the construction and development of the Mulberry Harbours. Colonel Steer-Webster's medals and miniatures, including Order of The British Empire, World War One and World War Two medals, French Legion of Honour Medal and American Legion of Merit Medal. Both presented in A.H. Baldwin & Sons Limited presentation cases. Silver model of a "Concrete Mat" hallmarked London 1942, presented to Major V.C. Steer-Webster RE "As a tribute to his ingenuity and energy in discovering a simple solution to the baffling problem that made Dieppe possible, N.E. Wates and R.W. Wates December 1942". Length 14 cm. Colonel Steer-Webster was Deputy Director of Experimental Engineering and played a large part in the design of Mulberry B for Arromanches and previously designed concrete mats, "Chocolate Mattresses" to allow access to beaches with heavy artillery. Colonel Steer-Webster was awarded £1000 for his invention from "the Royal Commission on Awards". A silver plated model "Whale" (floating roadway), length 15 cm, and a silver plated model "Phoenix" anchorage point, length 14 cm. Both were important sections of the Mulberry Harbour. Colonel Vassal Charles Steer-Webster's Military OBE, cased. Colonel Vassal Charles Steer-Webster's "Freedom of The City of London" in later silver case dated October 1963, Garrard & Co. The Freedom of The City of London granted in 1951 "In Recognition of his achievements for having the Mulberry Harbours ready of D Day". Watercolour, Colonel V.C. Steer-Webster and black and white photographs of the same in military uniform. Approximately 150 black and white photographs of aspects of the Mulberry Harbour in construction and use, including official photographs. Tinted panoramic photographic view of Mulberry B 1944, 18 cm x 100 cm. Terence Cuneo Mulberry B 1944, 32 cm x 57 cm. Scrapbook "Mulberry Mission" to Canada 1946 comprising press cuttings and photographs, etc. The Mission was to allay misconceptions in Canada that the Canadian action at Dieppe was simply a tragic episode in the campaign, when in fact the action paved the way for the allies brilliant success in the D Day Landings of 1944. A case of 71 photographic slides in wooden case all Mulberry Harbour related, including design drawings and the harbour itself. World War One - Private V.C. Steer-Webster's dog tags, 1914 silver cigarette case, Royal Engineers cigarette lighter, 1914 Christmas tin, Victorian silver hip flask, Elliott Brothers pocket barometer, service books. The bullet that was removed from Private Steer after an injury which led to him being declared "no longer fit physically for war service" April 1916. There are numerous other items within the archive including lecture notes and in depth analysis of the D Day Landings and documentation from colonel Vassal Charles Steer-Webster's later career. There is also correspondence with the French Authorities in relation to his receipt of the French Legion of Honour Medal. A brief note on the importance of the Mulberry Harbours - the Mulberry Harbours were floating artificial harbours designed and constructed by British Military Engineers during World War Two. They were used to protect supply ships anchored off the coast of Normandy after the D Day Landings of June 6th 1944. The idea for such harbours came from several people and in particular Winston Churchill. The harbours were intended to protect the ships from storm and enemy attack. Many of the French ports had been destroyed and/or booby trapped by the Germans. The disastrous British attack on Dieppe in 1942 rekindled the interest in the
artificial floating harbours. Two were built for D Day. Mulberry A was constructed off Omaha Beach to supply US forces. Mulberry B was built off Gold Beach at Arromanches to supply British and Canadian troops. Mulberry A was destroyed in a storm a few days after it was built. Mulberry B was operational for some 10 months after the landings. In the 10 months after D Day Mulberry B was used to land over 2.5 million troops, 500,000 vehicles and 4 million tons of supplies. The harbour is credited by some historians with shortening the war by increasing the effectiveness of the allied supply chain during the invasion. The harbours were a huge feat of civil engineering. They were built hastily in the dry docks on The Thames and Clyde. They were pulled across the channel by tugs and assembled off the French coast. They were operational within 12 days of the landings. The archive also includes a war time letter from Louis Mountbatten from South East Asia Command Headquarters August 1945 writing to "thank you for your great kindness in presenting me with a painting of Mulberry. I was informed of this just before I left London recently but owing to the Japanese surrender I had to leave so quickly that I was unable to write at the time and thank you". There is also a signed letter from Winston Churchill dated 24th April 1945 thanking Colonel Steer-Webster for "the excellent coloured reproduction of Mulberry B which you have been good enough to have prepared for me" and "thanking you for the various models and relief map of the Mulberry which you have sent to my map room during the past months". There is a secret movement order to Steer-Webster and in reference to Juno Beach June 1944 and other wartime orders (see illustration).

Sold for £28000