Cecil Edward Dorman came to Chelmsford from Grays following his wartime marriage to a Chelmsford woman. He died in a military hospital in London in April 1919. His widow lived in Baddow Road.


Corporal, Royal Engineers

Cecil died on 3rd April 1919 while serving as Corporal 121498 in the Royal Engineers. He was aged 27.

The Essex County Chronicle of 11th April 1919 carried the following death notice:

“Dorman - On April 3rd 1919, at the Military Hospital, Camberwell. late of Grays, Corpl. Cecil Edward Dorman, Royal Engineers, the beloved husband of Elaine Alice Dorman (nee Harris), aged 27 years.”

A similar notice appeared in the same day’s Essex Weekly News:

“Dorman. - On April 3rd, 1919, at Military Hospital Camberwell (late of Grays), Cpl. Cecil Edward Dorman, R.E., the beloved husband of Elaine Alice Dorman, aged 27 years.”

He is buried at Thurrock (Grays) New Cemetery (grave: 6. 15, pictured).

Cecil is commemorated on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford. He is not commemorated on the war memorial at St. John’s Church in Moulsham Street.

He was entitled to the Victory and British War medals.

Cecil’s widow lived at The Nurseries, Baddow Road, Moulsham. Cecil’s father died, aged 62, later in 1919, leaving an estate valued at the then large sum of £15,892 13s. 7d. His mother followed, aged 64, in 1921.

Cecil was born at North Benfleet in 1891, the son of publican Frederick Dorman and Martha Quantrell Dorman (nee Warman). Cecil’s father had been born in Runwell in 1857; his mother, in Hethersett, Norfolk in 1857. The couple had married in Norfolk in 1879, and in 1881 had been resident at the Harrow Inn in North Benfleet.

Cecil’s siblings (all born in North Benfleet) included Laura Emma Dorman (1880-1934), Mildred Mary Dorman (1882-1958), Fred William Dorman (1883-1929) Arthur George Dorman (1885-1959), and Ida Augusta Dorman (1889-1965).

In 1891, the year of Cecil’s birth, the family were still resident at the Harrow Inn in North Benfleet where Cecil’s father was licensed victualler. A decade later the 1901 census found nine year-old Cecil with his parents, five siblings and a servant at 40 Broadway in Grays. At the time his father was a publican, assisted by Cecil’s brother Fred and sister Mildred. Laura was a school mistress.

Cecil has yet to be found in the 1911 census. He married Elaine Alice Harris on 1st June 1918 in Chelmsford. The event was captured by a family announcement in the Essex County Chronicle on 7th June 1918:

“Marriage Dorman - Harris. - On June 1st, at St. John’s Church, Moulsham by the Rev. W.J. Pressey, Private Cecil Edward Dorman, R.E., youngest son of Mr. Fred Dorman, of Grays, to Elaine Alice, youngest daughter of Mr. Fred. Harris, The Nurseries, Baddow Road, Chelmsford.”

Elaine had been born in Chelmsford in 1889, one of six children of the market gardener Frederick Harris.

On 20th July 1929 Cecil’s widow, then aged 40 and living at 2 Van Dieman’s Road in Chelmsford, married 32 year-old Henry James Rowsell at St John’s Church in Moulsham. She died in 1961.

In August 1929 Cecil’s brother Fred committed suicide in Suffolk. Today they both lie in the same grave.

Cecil’s nephew (son of his sister Laura) was Sir Herbert Dorman Spreckley (1905-1963) who had a distinguished career with the Royal Air Force, where he became Air Marshall.