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Robert (Bob) Edmund Dorsey was born in Hamilton, Ontario on December 4, 1919 to Annie and Josiah (Joe) Joshua Dorsey. Dorsey attended McMaster University and graduated with a BA in 1941. He excelled in tennis and badminton, winning the singles tennis championship in a district meet in 1939, and competing in badminton tournaments at the Thistle Club to become Hamilton’s singles champion for two consecutive years.
During his time at McMaster, Dorsey trained as a cadet in the McMaster Contingent of the Canadian Officers' Training Corps (COTC). He completed his military training in 2 years and was named a 2nd lieutenant in 1942, enlisting in active service in May of the same year. While stationed at Camp Gordon, Dorsey completed the requirements to become a lieutenant. He then acted as a training centre instructor in Simcoe and Brantford. In 1943, he married Florence Kathleen Riley. Florence and Dorsey had one son, John Josiah, born February 1, 1944, whom Dorsey never had the opportunity to meet.
After being transferred to the Canadian Army (Active Force) Overseas, Dorsey boarded a ship for England, where he joined to the 5th Canadian Reinforcement Unit. He was assigned to the 7th Brigade Group, 3rd Canadian Division a month later. In the spring of 1944, Dorsey became a reinforcement officer for the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, a machine gun and mortar regiment designated for active service. Dorsey was involved in their pre-invasion training prior to the D-Day operation. He co-founded a frontline regimental newspaper called “The Rocket.” Dorsey was killed at Normandy on June 7, 1944. He was given full military honours in a burial ceremony at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Reviers in Calvados, France.