What developments might eventually have ensured this, and, what footholds Dorman
might have been able to secure in the British aircraft industry by virtue of the
Adams' engine must sadly remain forever unknown, because a period was fast approaching
when many hopes were to be dashed and many plans to be changed.
When the First World War broke out, in 1914, Dorman had a labour force of rather more than five hundred and were contractors to the Admiralty and War Office and could boast a modest but profitable European and Colonial export trade. By 1915 this labour force had risen to seven hundred: by the Armistice two thousand. In the course of the war Dorman had become contractors not only to the Admiralty and War Office, but the Indian Office and Crown agents for the Colonies, the Air Ministry, the War-
As recently as October 1913 the War Department had carried out trials, in lorries,
of engines manufactured to its official specification, among which the new Dorman
4JO had passed with the official seal of approval; now, in August 1914, the works
was called upon to produce literally thousands of these engines for three and four
ton W.D. lorries almost immediately, and thanks to a reorganisation which had already
been set in motion during the last days of peace, was able to do so. Later the 4JO,
and its two cylinder variant the 2JO, were to appear on land and sea as mains or
emergency generating plant; but perhaps the most notable contribution of these sturdy
Dorman workhorses to the war effort was the Simplex locomotive produced by the Motor
Rail and Tram Car Co. Ltd., of Bedford.
Once it had become clear, by early 1916, that a complex system of light narrow-
Simplex narrow gauge locomotive, fitted with Dorman engine, transporting the late King George V on a tour of inspection, on the Western Front.
Simplex narrow gauge locomotive, fitted with Dorman engine, evacuating wounded on
the Western Front during the 1914-
Booklet home page Page index Pages 4 & 5 Pages 8 & 9
electrics were also designed for converting into mobilepower plants being produced complete with plug, cable and take off points for the supply of about 30 kW.
Generally speaking the Simplex locomotives were the most popular of all those
used by the British on narrow gauge and ran continuously until well after the Armistice,
carrying essential supplies into the heart of the forward areas, ferrying troops
out to rest from the roadless wilderness of the worst battle-