SMITH, Cecil LT 1899-1966. Author, most famously for the ‘Hornblower’ series, who wrote under the name of CS Forester. Of Anglo-American stock, Forester was educated at both Alleyn’s School from 1910-1915 and Dulwich College where he was a boarder from 1915-1916. His family lived at Shenley Road, Camberwell and Underhill Road, East Dulwich, where there is a blue plaque to his memory at No. 58. His parents moved abroad in 1915 as his father was given a post in the Ministry of Education in Egypt. 

In 1917 Forester was refused entry into the army due to a weak heart, and after an abortive attempt to become a medical student settled on journalism. He wrote fiction in his spare time, and in 1937 produced the first of twelve Horatio Hornblower novels, in the course of which his fictitious hero rose from navy midshipman to admiral. Cecil Smith was present at the unveiling of the Dulwich College War Memorial in the Chapel, which included the name of Edmund S. Hornblower. Some stories say that he and Hornblower were friends; this is unlikely because of the difference in their ages. During World War Two Forester wrote articles for publication in the USA to assist the British war effort. After his first marriage was dissolved in 1944 he settled in the USA, re-married, and died in California in 1966.

Patrick Darby, Rosemary Warhurst and Arthur Chandler