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John Dorman, An Old Soldier of Strabane, born 1709

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John Dorman, An Old Soldier of Strabane, born 1709

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia

Hobart Town Gazette & Southern Reporter [Tasmania, Australia]

June 12 1819


There is at this time residing near the church of Strabane, in Ireland, an old soldier of the name of JOHN DORMAN, who has attained the great age of one hundred and nine years, he being born on the 24th of August 1709. He entered the army early in life, and in the year 1739 was drifted (sic), with others from the 12th regiment of foot, and sent out with Admiral Verdan’s squadron. He was present and engaged at the taking of Porto Bello, and the bombardment of Carthagena. In the year 1743, this man having returned, was engaged in the battle of Dettingen, in which the French lost six thousand men, and a large number of officers. On the 30th of April 1745, he was present at the battle of Fonteroy, in which the British Army had the misfortune to lose twelve thousand men, and the French, who claimed the victory, an equal number. Dorman was in the hottest part of the action, but escaped with a slight wound on the left shoulder.


His regiment then returned from the Continent, and on the 30th of April 1746, he was present of the battle of Cullden (sic), and was one of the guards over Lord Balmerino, Kilmarnock and Cromarty. After the peace, Ayx-la-chapelle, he went into the service of the East India Company, sailed to Madras, and was at the taking of Pondicherry. In the year 1752, he returned to England, with thirty pounds of prize money. He soon joined to his old regiment at Aberdeen, from which place he went with it to Germany, and was severely wounded in one of his hands at the battle of Minden.


He was then discharged, with a pension of seven pounds eighteen shillings a year, and returned to Strabane, where he has lived ever since. In the year 1771, he, with other pensioners, was examined by a Staff Surgeon and ordered, upon the Surgeon’s report, to repair to his depot in England, on pain of forfeiting his pension.


Dorman was then settled in the baking business, and declined leaving it, and was consequently deprived of his pension. For many years he did not feel the loss of his little annuity, which he had earned so dearly; but in the vicissitudes of human affairs, he was at last reduced to extreme poverty, and is now in the one hundred and tenth year of his age, begging his bread from door to door, which in justice to the charitable inhabitants of Strabane and its vicinity, he concedes he need not do, if he could content himself with a weekly allowance; but is naturally fond of recounting his former exploits, and he is at this time preparing his “Simple Annals” for the press.

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