Percy F. Westerman

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Percy Francis Westerman (1876 – 22 February 1959) was a prolific author of children's literature, many of his books adventures with military and naval themes.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Portsmouth, England in 1876, and educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, before taking up a clerical appointment at Portsmouth Dockyard at the age of twenty. He married Florence Wager, of Portsmouth, in 1900. Always keen sailors, they spent part of their honeymoon sailing in the Solent. Their son, John F.C. Westerman, born in 1901, also wrote adventure books for boys.

At the age of 70 he was reluctantly forced by a fall to leave his houseboat for dry land, but he continued writing apace. He died at the age of 82, and his last book, Mistaken Identity, was published posthumously in 1959.

Writing career[edit]

His writing career allegedly began with a sixpence bet made with his wife that he could write a better story than the one he was reading to his son, who was at the time ill with chickenpox.

His first book for boys, A Lad of Grit, was published by Blackie and Son Limited in 1908. In the same year, Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement, which strongly influenced many of Westerman's books – he was a particularly keen supporter of the Sea Scouts.

He published a further three books in 1911, which were so successful that he gave up his Admiralty appointment that year to become a full-time author. He lived on board a houseboat – a converted Thames barge – on the River Frome at Wareham in Dorset, where he wrote the majority of his books.

During the First World War, he was initially employed on coastal duties by the Royal Navy, but in 1918 he was commissioned, like W. E. Johns, in the Royal Flying Corps, as an instructor of navigation. During the Second World War he commanded a company of the Dorset Home Guard. He wrote to Blackie of his service in the two wars that "neither appointment seriously interfered with my literary output."

During the 1930s Westerman was voted the most popular author of stories for boys. His books sold over one and a half million copies in his lifetime (total sales at his death were 1,599,000). He published at least 174 books, with 12 different firms.

Bibliography[edit]

Publication dates as listed by the British Library. Many titles were reissued subsequently, some several times.

No. Title Subtitle Publisher Place Year Illustrator Notes
1 A Lad of Grit Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1908 Edward S. Hodgson
2 The Young Cavalier C. Arthur Pearson London 1909 Gordon Browne
3 The Winning of the Golden Spurs James Nisbet and Co. London 1911
4 The Quest of the "Golden Hope" A seventeenth century story of adventure Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1912 Frank E. Wiles
5 The Flying Submarine James Nisbet and Co. London 1912
6 Captured at Tripoli Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1912 Charles M. Sheldon
7 The Sea Monarch Adam and Charles Black London 1912 Edward S. Hodgson
8 The Scouts of Seal Island Adam and Charles Black London 1913 Ernest Prater
9 The Rival Submarines S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1913 C. Fleming Williams
10 The Stolen Cruiser Jarrold and Sons London 1913
11 When East Meets West A story of the yellow peril Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1913 C. M. Padday
12 Under King Henry's Banners A story of the days of Agincourt Pilgrim Press London 1914 John Campbell
13 The Sea-Girt Fortress A story of Heligoland Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1914
14 The Sea Scouts of the "Petrel" Adam and Charles Black London 1914
15 The Log of a Snob Chapman and Hall London 1914 W. Edward Wigfull
16 'Gainst the Might of Spain A story of the days of the Great Armada Pilgrim Press London 1914
17 Building the Empire A story of the North-West Frontier Jarrold and Sons London 1914
18 The Dreadnought of the Air S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1914
19 The Dispatch-Riders Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1915
20 The Nameless Island A story of some modern Robinson Crusoes C. Arthur Pearson London 1915
21 The Fight for Constantinople A story of the Gallipoli Peninsula Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1915
22 A Sub. of the R.N.R.[1] S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1915
23 Rounding up the Raider A naval story of the Great War Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1916
24 The Secret Battleplane[1] Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1916 Ernest Prater
25 The Treasure of the "San Philipo" Religious Tract Society / Boy's Own Paper London 1916
26 A Watch-dog of the North Sea S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1916 C.M. Padday
27 Deeds of Pluck and Daring in the Great War Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1917
28 To the Fore with the Tanks![1] S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1918
29 Under the White Ensign A naval story of the Great War Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1918
30 The Fritz-Strafers S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1918 Reissued as The Keepers of the Narrow Seas, 1931
31 Billy Barcroft, R.N.A.S.[1] A story of the Great War S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1918
32 A Lively Bit of the Front Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1918
33 The Secret Channel and Other Stories of the Great War Adam and Charles Black London 1918
34 The Submarine Hunters[2] Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1918
35 With Beatty off Jutland A romance of the great sea fight Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1918
36 Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force[3] A story of the conquest of German East Africa S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1918 Ernest Prater[1]
37 A Sub. And a Submarine Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1919
38 Winning his Wings A story of the R.A.F. Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1919
39 The Thick of the Fray at Zeebrugge : April 1918 Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1919 W. Edward Wigfull
40 Midst Arctic Perils C. Arthur Pearson London 1919
41 The Airship "Golden Hind"[1] S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1920
42 The Mystery Ship A naval story of the Great War S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1920
43 The Salving of the "Fusi Yama" A post-war story of the sea Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1920
44 Sea Scouts All How the "Olivette" was won Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1920
45 Sea Scouts Abroad Further adventures of the "Olivette" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1921
46 The Third Officer A present-day pirate story Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1921 Edward S. Hodgson
47 Sea Scouts Up-Channel Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1922
48 The Wireless Officer Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1922
49 The War of the Wireless Waves Oxford University Press & Humphrey Milford London 1923
50 The Pirate Submarine James Nisbet and Co. London 1923
51 A Cadet of the Mercantile Marine Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1923 W. Edward Wigfull
52 Clipped Wings Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1923
53 The Mystery of Stockmere School S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1924
54 Sinclair's Luck A story of adventure in East Africa S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1924
55 Captain Cain James Nisbet and Co. London 1924
56 The Good Ship "Golden Effort" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1924
57 The Treasure of the Sacred Lake C. Arthur Pearson London 1924
58 Unconquered Wings Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1924
59 Clinton's Quest C. Arthur Pearson London 1925
60 East in the "Golden Gain" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1925
61 The Boys of the "Puffin" S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1925
62 The Buccaneers of Boya Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1925
63 The Sea Scouts of the "Kestrel" Seeley, Service and Co. London 1926
64 Annesley's Double Adam and Charles Black London 1926
65 King of Kilba Ward, Lock & Co. London and Melbourne 1926
66 The Luck of the "Golden Dawn" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1926
67 The Riddle of the Air Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1926
68 The Terror of the Seas Ward, Lock & Co. London and Melbourne 1927
69 Mystery Island Oxford University Press & Humphrey Milford London 1927
70 Captain Blundell's Treasure Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1927
71 Chums of the "Golden Vanity" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1927
72 In the Clutches of the Dyaks S. W. Partridge and Co. London 1927
73 The Junior Cadet Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1928 Reissued as Norman goes to Sea, 1934
74 On the Wings of the Wind Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1928
75 A Shanghai Adventure Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1928
76 Pat Stobart in the "Golden Dawn" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1929
77 Rivals of the Reef Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1929
78 Captain Starlight Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1929
79 Captain Sang Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1930
80 Leslie Dexter, Cadet Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1930
81 A Mystery of the Broads Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1930
82 The Secret of the Plateau Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1931
83 The Senior Cadet Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1931
84 In Defiance of the Ban Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1931
85 The Amir's Ruby Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1932
86 'All Hands to the Boats' Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1932
87 Captain Fosdyke's Gold Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1932
88 King for a Month Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1933
89 Rocks Ahead! Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1933
90 The White Arab Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1933
91 The Disappearing Dhow Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1933
92 Chasing the "Pleiad" The Mystery of the S.S. Aracluta Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1933
93 Tales of the Sea R. Tuck and Sons London 1934 Terence T. Cuneo with C. Gilson et al.
94 The Westow Talisman Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1934
95 Andy-All-Alone Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1934
96 The Black Hawk Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1934
97 Standish of the Air Police Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1935
98 Sleuths of the Air Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1935
99 On Board the "Golden Effort" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1935
100 The Call of the Sea Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1935
101 The Red Pirate Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1935 Rowland Hilder
102 Tireless Wings Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1936 Comerford Watson
103 Captain Flick Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1936 Edward S. Hodgson
104 His First Ship Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1936
105 Midshipman Raxworthy Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1936
106 Ringed by Fire Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1936
107 The Pearl Fishers and Other Stories R. Tuck and Sons London 1936 with Major John Thomas Gorman et al.
108 Winged Might Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1937
109 Under Fire in Spain Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1937 Ernest Prater
110 The Last of the Buccaneers Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1937
111 Haunted Harbour Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1937
112 His Unfinished Voyage Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1937
113 Midshipman Webb's Treasure Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1937 D. L. Mays
114 Cadet Alan Carr Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1938 D. L. Mays
115 Standish Gets his Man Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1938 W. Edward Wigfull
116 Standish Loses his Man Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1939 W. Edward Wigfull
117 In Eastern Seas Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1939
118 The Bulldog Breed Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1939 E. Boye Uden
119 At Grips with the Swastika Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1940 Leo Bates
120 Eagles' Talons Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1940
121 In Dangerous Waters Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1940
122 Standish Pulls it Off Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1940
123 When the Allies Swept the Seas Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1940 J. C. B. Knight
124 The War – and Alan Carr Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1940 E. Boye Uden
125 War Cargo Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1941
126 Sea Scouts at Dunkirk Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1941
127 Standish Holds On Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1941
128 Fighting for Freedom Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1941
129 Alan Carr in the Near East Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1942
130 Destroyer's Luck Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1942
131 Secret Flight Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1942
132 On Guard for England Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1942 J. C. B. Knight
133 A Real Boy's Book Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1942 with others
134 With the Commandos Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1943 Salomon Van Abbé
135 Sub-Lieutenant John Cloche Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1943 H. Pym
136 Alan Carr in the Arctic Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1943 E. Boye Uden
137 Combined Operations Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1944 Salomon Van Abbé
138 'Engage the Enemy Closely' Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1944 Terence T. Cuneo
139 Secret Convoy Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1944 Terence T. Cuneo
140 Alan Carr in Command Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1945 Terence T. Cuneo
141 One of the Many Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1945 Ellis Silas
142 'Operations Successfully Executed' Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1945 S. Drigin
143 By Luck and by Pluck Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1946 Terence T. Cuneo
144 Return to Base Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1946 Leslie A. Wilcox
145 Squadron Leader Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1946 Terence T. Cuneo
146 Unfettered Might Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1947 S. Jezzard
147 Trapped in the Jungle Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1947 A. S. Forrest
148 The Phantom Submarine Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1947 J. C. B. Knight
149 The "Golden Gleaner" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1948 M Mackinlay
150 First Over Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1948 Ellis Silas
151 The Mystery of the Key Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1948 Ellis Silas
152 Missing, Believed Lost Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1949 Will Nickless
153 Contraband Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1949 A. Barclay
154 Beyond the Burma Road Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1949 Victor J. Bertoglio
155 Sabarinda Island Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1950 A. Barclay
156 The Mystery of Nix Hall Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1950 D. C. Eyles
157 By Sea and Air Midshipman Doughty and Forced Landing Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1950
158 Desolation Island Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1950 W. Gale
159 Held to Ransom Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1951 Ellis Silas
160 The Isle of Mystery Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1951
161 Working their Passage Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1951 Ellis Silas
162 Sabotage! Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1952 Ellis Silas
163 Round the World in the "Golden Gleaner" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1952 Jack Matthew
164 Dangerous Cargo Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1952
165 Bob Strickland's Log Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1953 Jack Matthew
166 The Missing Diplomat Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1953 R. G. Campbell
167 Rolling down to Rio'' Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1953 R. G. Campbell
168 Wrested from the Deep Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1954 Robert Johnston
169 A Midshipman of the Fleet Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1954 P. A. Jobson
170 The Ju–Ju Hand Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1954
171 The "Dark Secret" Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1954 Victor J. Bertoglio
172 'Sea Scouts Alert!' Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1955 G. Graham
173 Daventry's Quest Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1955 P. A. Jobson
174 The Lure of the Lagoon Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1955 E. Kearon
175 Held in the Frozen North Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1956 Edward Osmond
176 The Mystery of the Sempione Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1957 P.B. Batchelor
177 Jack Craddock's Commission Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1958 Edward Osmond
178 Mistaken Identity Blackie and Son Ltd. London and Glasgow 1959 Robert Johnston

Series[edit]

His publishing house S. W. Partridge included Westerman in a series entitled 'The Great Adventure Series' along with Rowland Walker, author of Oscar Danby, V.C.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force, pp. 2–5.
  2. ^ The Submarine Hunters at Gutenberg
  3. ^ Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force at Gutenberg

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]