My father, Peter Seaton, who has died aged 91, was a senior design engineer who started his career as a shipwright apprentice and went on to work on several landmark defence projects, including the Thunderbird missile and UK-3 satellite.

Born in Gillingham, Kent, the son of Henry Seaton, an electrical engineer, and his wife Ellen (nee Bonnick), he was one of four children: an older sister, Pat, older brother, Harry, and younger brother, John, who was born the day after Henry’s death following kidney surgery. Ellen courageously brought up the family by earning a meagre wage as an outworker seamstress at Chatham Dockyard making naval clothing.

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