Born in a small village near Chester, it was while cadet training at the Marlborough College Contingent Junior Division Officers' Training Corps in the late 1920s that Dolphin received the experience that would equip him for his military career.
Prior to the war Dolphin was an engineer and was sufficiently experienced by 1938 to set up his own consultancy. He was mobilised just a year later and by 1942 held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was put in charge of the top secret Inter-Services Research Station at Welwyn in Hertfordshire codenamed Station IX, a unit of the Special Operations Executive.
The Top Secret research included military vehicles and equipment, explosives and technical sabotage, camouflage and biological and chemical warfare.
Included within this and during Dolphin’s time at Station IX, was the Welbike. A keen motorcyclist, Dolphin developed the Welbike with racing bike engineer Harry Lester. The prototype was a small folding motorcycle that could be dropped by parachute for use by Paratroopers.
The Welbike was the smallest motorcycle ever used by the British Armed Forces - 3,853 were built.