Percy Francis Westerman (1876-1959) was a prolific author of children's literature, many of his books adventures with military themes. His first book for boys, A Lad of Grit, was published in 1908. 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 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 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. He published at least 174 books, and his last book, Mistaken Identity was published posthumously in 1959.