Obituary: B. A. Steward

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The Independent Online
Bertram Arthur Steward, author, editor, journalist and publisher, born Norwich 23 February 1897, married Lily Dyball (one son, one daughter), died Felixstowe 21 February 1993.

BERTRAM Arthur Steward was the oldest living agricultural journalist. Up to the day before his death at the age of 95 he could be seen walking on the sands of Felixstowe. After an hour of fairly stiff walking, he would return to his battered old typewriter and tap out a letter to the Eastern Daily Press or an occasional article for the Guardian.

Bert Steward enlisted in the First World War in September 1914. After going through the bitterest fighting on the Somme (which turned him into a lifelong pacifist), he was demobbed in 1919. He then went on an agricultural training scheme for demobbed soldiers and there began his love of the land. He was that rare creature - a working agricultural journalist. Appointed in 1929 the editor of a new monthly journal, the Dairy Farmer, he went on in 1935 to buy the paper from the English Guernsey Cattle Society when it was threatened with closure, on faith and very little else. It cost him pounds 150, and he ran it until the 1950s, when the title was sold to United Newspapers.

He was, too, for 20 years the agricultural correspondent of the old Daily Herald and his country jottings made him known across the land. He 'ploughed in Long Acre', he used to quip.

Bert Steward hired me as a 16-year-old apprentice journalist and gave me an unforgettable training in journalism and publishing and an enduring example of friendship. Later he helped me with the legendary paper the South Wales Voice and with a series of papers called Voice in the Middle East.

A lifelong socialist, he was a friend of George Brown and Chapman Pincher, to whom he gave an early start in journalism. He became a founding member of CND and on his 90th birthday walked to the Cenotaph with Bruce Kent.

He published an autobiography, One Journey: the story of a Suffolk farmer, in 1981.

(Photograph omitted)

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