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Posted by Heather Pritchard on Wednesday 14th of November 2018 01:28
DORNFORD (LIEUT 1815 F_P 11; HP 31) – FRANCIS DORNFORD is brother of Lieut Josiah Dornford RN This officer entered the Navy, in April, 1804, as Fst-cl Vol, on board the DIAMOND 38, Capts Thos Elphinstone and Geo Argles; in which ship he sailed for the West Indies, and served, latterly as Midshipman, until his removal, in Sept 1809, to the RAINBOW 22, Capt Jas Wooldridge. On 14 Feb 1810 we find him bearing part (the 18-gun sloop AVON in company) in a long and destructive action with the French 40-gun frigate La Neréide, near St Domingo. From April to Sept 1811, Mr Dornford next served, as master’s Mate, on board the THISBE 29, Capts Wm Rogers and Thos Dick, guard-ship at Greenwich. He afterwards joined, in succession, on the Home and American stations, the VENERABLE 74, capt Sir Hime Popham, PYRAMUS 36, Capt Jas Whitley Deans Dundas, and ROYAL OAK 74, Capt Pulteney Malcolm. While in the latter ship, he shared in most of the hostilities on the coast of North America; where he was present at the storming of Washington – commanded a gun-boat in the attack on Baltimore – and (previous to a similar participation in the operations against New Orleans) assisted in the boats at the capture, on Lake Borgne, 14 Dec 1814, of a flotilla of five American gun-vessels under Commodore Jones, which did not surrender until after a fierce contest, in which the British sustained a loss of 17 men killed and 77 wounded. Mr Dornford, who obtained his commission 2 Feb 1815, was afterwards employed for four months on board the BRUNE 38, armée en flute, Capt Wm Stanhope Badcock. He has been on half-pay since 9 Sept 1815 (Ancestry – A Naval biographical Dictionary: Every Living Officer in Her Majesty’s Navy – p 297)On the 1851 census he is recorded at Bute Dock Crescent, Cardiff as Lieut Halfpay R N and Dock Master of Bute Docks, in 1861 he is recorded at 19 Bute Crescent and is now Commander R Navy. According to the Bristol Mercury, 24 June 1878: THE LATE COMMANDER DORNFORD – The death is announced of Commander Dornford, of the Royal Navy, who died suddenly, at Bath, of apoplexy, on Thursday last. He was for many years resident at Cardiff, during twenty of which he held the post of dockmaster, at the Bute Docks, where he won the esteem and respect of all he came in contact with... His commander’s commission bears date 1861, and he held a medal with one clasp. The Freeman's Journal, Wed 26 June 1878 records his date of death as 20 June and that he was in his 84th year