war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames D

WA Dixon, courtesy Dover ExpressDixon, W. A.
William Alfred Dixon was a Lieutenant in the Suffolk Regiment. He was a Dover resident and professional soldier having enlisted in 1905. He served throughout the Great War being wounded in the first battle of Ypres and for three years at Salonika and also in Russia. He gained a rapid promotion for an invention in trench warfare.  In November 1915 his commanding officer wrote "I can thoroughly recommend him. He is a very superior type of NCO with good manners and well-fitted for a commission. I understand that his wife is also well-educated and has nice manners. He was wounded with the Expeditionary Force and did really well out there"

He died in Ireland on 22 October 1920, when he was 39, having returned there just two days before, after ten days leave in Dover. He had been travelling in the second of two military motors and on a secluded stretch of road between the villages of Innishannon and Ballinhassig, Ireland some half an hour after they had left at 09.30 the cars were fired upon by people concealed by fences. The first of the cars had important dispatches which may have been the motive. This car escaped and a Corporal from it leapt out and gave covering fire  until he fell with a wounded knee after some four of the attackers advanced upon him, firing in return

The second car however, in which Lieutenant Dixon was travelling came under heavier fire. Lieutenant Dixon leapt out when shots immobilised the engine and/or wounded the driver and was immediately hit in the shoulder by a rifle bullet. He ordered his men to line the road and had lain down when a second shot hit him in the left nostril penetrated upwards into his brain and killed him instantly. (The examining medical officer later stated that this shot had come from a revolver and that in his opinion it had been "fired at close range" The verdict of the military court of enquiry which sat at Cork Barracks and the inquest was that Lieutenant Dixon had been killed by an act of "wilful murder") Private Reid of the Essex regiment was also killed and five others wounded, Sergeant Bennett later dying. A number of the attackers then took away all arms and weapons, and searched the pockets of the officer,  leaving untouched the only uninjured person a Private of seventeen years save for taking his rifle

WA Dixon, funeral, courtesy Dover ExpressLieutenant Dixon's funeral service began at St Paul's where he had lain in state the night before. Father Grady officiated and the coffin with the Union Flag draped over it was then carried on a gun carriage to St James, H X 13. The pall bearers were from the Essex regiment and it was a funeral with full military honours with a band from the 2nd battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers and a party from the 1st battalion of the Royal Sussex firing three volleys over the grave. The Last Post was sounded. There were many mourners including his wife and child, his sister, Mrs Hatton, and his brother, Alfred Dixon, who was musical director at the Lord Warden Hotel. The funeral expenses amounted to £14 15s. with an additional £20 for the coffin which were paid by the Military as "the estate is very small"

in memoriam 1942, courtesy Dover ExpressIn 1924 his widow staying in Folkestone with the family of his brother Ernest Dixon, a casualty in the Great War requested that William's name should go on the Dover Town Memorial. This request was turned down because although Lieutenant Dixon had served through the Great War and had died in service his death was not attributable to that War  

above: in memoriam announcement from 1942

The sad story of William Dixon and his non-commemoration on Dover Town Memorial was discovered by research of the Dover War Memorial Project. For William Dixon's family tree see Faded Genes and for further information see biography both by Dave Dixon. With thanks to Neil Clark and Kyle Tallet for kindly supplying copies of the service papers of Lieutenant Dixon

Note: the family lived at several addresses in Dover including 7 Priory Gate Road, 65 Clarendon Street, 64 Clarendon Street

February 2008 - some good news. The CWGC, thanks to the work of Kent Fallen have agreed that Lieutenant Dixon may be placed on their records. He will eventually receive a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone and his grave will be cared for in perpetuity.

September 2008 - Edith Dixon sister of William has been identified by Dave Dixon as the daughter-in-law of Mrs Mary Ann Asseling who was on her way to hospital in Dover when subjected to the air raid of  19th March 1916

Dummer, F. C.

Frederick Charles Dummer, 3665, was a Rifleman in B company of the 2nd battalion of the Rifle Brigade. He was the son of the late Moses Dummer and the late Elizabeth Ann Dummer, née Lemon who had married in Dover in 1872. Frederick had been born in 1886; his mother, aged 39, died the same year and was buried at Buckland on 7 October. Moses died in Dover in 1898; he had been a bugler in the Rifle Brigade, and in 1871 was recorded as being 33 years of age, and stationed at the South Front barracks, Western Heights, Dover. 

In 1891 the family were living at 5 Magdala Road, with children Stephen, aged 15, Mary, aged 14, George, aged 10, and Grace, aged 8, as well as Frederick. By 1901 Frederick was lodging with William and Elizabeth Ayes at 180 London Road, Dover, and was occupied as a papermaker. He had a tattoo on his arm: "in loving memory of my dear mother".

On service, Frederick had been wounded in action three times; by a gun shot on his right side on 10 March 1915 and another in his left ankle on 4 April 1917, and by being buried by shell and shocked on 13 November 1916. He was killed on 9 July 1917 in Belgium, and was buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Ypres, I F 15.

He was the husband of Mary Ann Dummer, née Macbeath, of 59 Kinnaird St, Wick, Caithness, and they had a son, Frederick Henry Macbeath Dummer, born on  23 September 1916. Mary Ann remarried, to Alexander Rosie on 14 December 1922  in The Manse, Wick, CAI, SCT. She died on 28 December 1969 in Inverness.

Frederick's brother, George, married Eliza Jane Fagg at St Andrews, Buckland, on 1 January 1899, and on 9 December 1900 Hilda May, their daughter, was christened, followed by Grace Mary on 23 August 1902 and Dorothy Emily on 5 May 1906.

with thanks to Joyce Banks

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