Sir Donald Coleman Bailey was an engineer, best known for being the inventor of the Bailey Bridge, without which Field Marshall Montgomery said “we could not have won the war”.
He was born in Rotherham on 15th September 1901 and graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1923 with a degree in Engineering.
After university, he went to work with the railways, but in 1929 he joined the Experimental Bridging Establishment which was a new division of the Ministry of Supply.
By the time the Second World War broke out in 1939, Donald had already envisaged a design for a temporary bridge that could quickly be erected on the battlefeld, allowing both infantry and armoured vehicles to cross rivers and other obstacles where bridges had been destroyed.
He moved to Southbourne after the war ended and was knighted for his services in 1946.
Donald remained in Bournemouth until his death on 5th May 1985.