Tributes to popular war veteran

THE son of a World War Two veteran has paid tribute to his late father, hailing him as “a charming man”.

Robert Dormer, known as Bob, was a proud Evesham resident and a popular figure among the town’s business community.

He was 87 when he passed away on Monday, January 6, after contracting pneumonia but had been suffering with Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer for several years.

Mr Dormer lived in Bourton during his early years until his call up to the army at the tail end of the Second World War, when he served firstly in northern Europe and then Palestine.

The veteran appeared in the Journal in 2005 discussing his time in Lumberg Heath in Germany in 1945.

He said: “Around 8am I awoke from my bed, which was the inclined tailboard of an army lorry with the chains adjusted to prevent me falling off. The Armistice was going to be signed by all the top-ranking generals, not far from where we were.

“There appeared nothing to drink until a consignment of naval rum was located in one of the lorries in the convey. A cry of 'bring your mugs' was heard and we all rushed forward to claim our share.

“One by one, a bayonet was inserted in the cans and we soon exhausted the' supply. Hickie, a Scat and our despatch rider, drank all of his and remained incapable for the next three days. I have never since drunk naval rum!”

On his return to England Mr Dormer worked for a number of years in civil engineering and is among those responsible for the sewerage system in the Cotswolds.

During this time he moved to Evesham and married Marjorie Ward, daughter of George of G.H. Ward & Sons, Badsey Lane, in 1953. The newlyweds bought a house in Elm Road before moving to Offenham Road where their two children, Leone and Martyn, grew up before they moved to a dream home in Great Comberton.

Mr Dormer plied his trade in motor sales at Coulter’s Garage in the Market Place from the early 1960s until his retirement at 65.

Martyn Dormer said: “He was very, very sunny and up-beat all the time. He was charming. Everyone liked him. He really enjoyed what he did and Evesham was his life really.

“He was always ready with a quip and a grin for his many customers, colleagues and associates and will be fondly remembered for his sunny disposition by all those for whom he did a ‘good deal’.”

There will be a celebration of Mr Dormer’s life at St Lawrence’s Church, where he was choirboy, in his native Bourton at noon on Monday (January 27).

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