Richard Bostock Dorman, CBE (SH 39-43) 1925-2022

In 1999, Richard was awarded the Republic of Vanuatu ‘National Award of Merit’ by then Prime Minister Donald Kalpokas

The OS Club is sad to report the death of Richard Dorman, who passed away peacefully on 9th January 2022, aged 96. Richard was a British diplomat who served as the second High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Vanuatu from 1982 until 1985.

Please see an obituary below sent in by his family:

Richard’s family came from Stafford but after a visit to a Fabian Summer School at Sedbergh in 1916 Richard’s father decided he would send his five boys to school there. He wrote that it was a fine place where “boys might grow to be healthy, uncontaminated men”. Richard started in 1939 and was proud to be awarded Sedbergh’s second scholarship, valued at £80 a year. He enjoyed his time at the school. In his memoirs he says great efforts were made to teach him to play passable rugby but in vain. However, his great compensating discovery was that he could run and that fell-running (downhill at least) was marvellous. He also talks about ‘the great sense of freedom’ that he enjoyed at Sedbergh.

He did military service as a commissioned officer in the South Staffordshire Regiment and then started at St. John’s in October 1948. He did modern Greek and Russian and ran for the college. He obtained a first-class joint honours degree.

After Cambridge he joined the Civil Service and worked first in the War Office and then transferred to the Foreign Office. He started in Cyprus (60-63), which was followed by posting to Sierra Leone (64-67), Ethiopia, (1969 -73) Romania (74-77), South Africa (77-82 and finally Vanuatu, where he was High Commissioner (82-85). He was awarded a CBE in 1984.

He enjoyed all his postings very much, but possibly his final posting was his favourite.

On retirement he set up The British Friends of Vanuatu, firstly to support people from Vanuatu who were coming to the UK for scholarships and secondly to keep British people with Vanuatu links in touch with Vanuatu. Over the years the organisation grew and as aid to Vanuatu shrunk the BFoV raised money for scholarships. Today it is a flourishing organisation. Richard was awarded the Republic of Vanuatu National Award of Merit in 1999 in recognition of his work.

Richard’s beloved wife, Anna, died in 2017, but he is survived by his 3 children and 5 grandchildren.