Name: Arthur Edward Basil Dixon
DoB: September 26 1889
Regt: 5th Batt Loyal North Lancs Regt
DoD: June 6 1915
Academic Career: CGS 1889 – 1903. Denstone College Sept 1903.
Other:son of F P Dixon Esq., 7, Howard Terrace, Carlisle. Worked at Messers Dobson & Barlow cotton machine works, Bolton. Joined Fine Spinners Association at Bolton.
Peter and Arthur were the two youngest sons of Francis Peter and Jane Dixon. The family business had been cotton manufacturing for several generations. The large chimney in Carlisle is still known as Dixon’s Chimney, and was part of their mill. The family wound up the business in 1883. Peter and Arthur’s great grandfather another Peter had established a large family home at Holme Eden, in 1861 he was living there with his family and they had a dozen servants living in! Both great grandsons lived there with a large extended family.
The Dixon family were well known in Carlisle’s political circles, their father was Mayor of Carlisle on four occasions, their great grandfather had been Carlisle’s mayor too, their gt gt uncle had been High Sheriff of Cumberland and had been an M.P. Other members of the family had also held public office.
Arthur’s gt grandfather was a devout Christian and he provided the land, and paid for the construction of St.Paul’s Church at Holme Eden near Warwick Bridge, it was consecrated by the Bishop of Carlisle in 1845.
Arthur was destined for the family business. After leaving Carlisle Grammar School in 1903, he attended Denstone College (1903-8) with his brother and then he went to Bolton to gain experience in Messers Dobson & Barlow’s cotton works. He is listed as a cotton spinning apprentice in 1911. The family must have believed that the sons learned the business from the bottom up! He then went to a cotton mill in Lille.
With the outbreak of war Arthur joined as a private, and was promoted rapidly to 2nd Lieutenant (1914) and Lieutenant (1915). He was shot through the head on Sunday morning, June 6 and died at 6pm. The war diary for June 7 1915 says “ Lieut Dixon buried 8.30pm., at 19th Field Ambu”. He was buried in a plantation near where he fell in Flanders. The following is part of his obituary in the Cumberland News “Lieutenant T.O.Smith a brother officer, sends the following account of the funeral, under the date June 9th
“I managed to get a coffin made. The man who made it was a skilled workman and made a good job of it. It was plain wood, stained oak, with a cross on the lid which was raised and ran the whole length and breadth of the coffin. Major Griffiths and I, accompanied by several of our men, attended at the graveside, when the Rev.J.C.Kennior [a friend of the late Lieutenant Dixon] conducted the burial service. Whilst we were waiting to convey the coffin to the grave the Germans started shelling all around us. They wounded one of the R.A.M.C. men but otherwise did no damage. Our own men carried the coffin to the grave, where his remains were laid to rest in a quiet and solemn manner befitting one who has given his all in his country’s cause. It is very sad that an efficient soldier and a good fellow like him should die, but war demands its toll and the price must be paid in human lives”
His brother Peter was killed three years later.
5th Batt Loyal North Lancs Regt
Arthur’s parents who were serving as Mayor and Mayoress in 1915, received telegrams of condolence from the King and Queen, and Lord Kitchener.
In January 1916 his parents applied for permission to place a brass plaque on the wall of St. Paul, Carlisle, however the plaque was placed in St. Cuthbert’s Carlisle, in the stairwell and includes his brother.
TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF
ARTHUR EDWARD BASIL DIXON
LIEUT. 5TH LOYAL NORTH LANCASHIRE REGT.
YOUNGEST SON OF FRANCES PETER DIXON
MAYOR OF CARLISLE
BORN 26TH SEPTEMBER 1889
KILLED IN ACTION AT YPRES 6TH JUNE 1915
BURIED AT VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY
ALSO TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF
PETER SYDENHAM DIXON
LIEUT. 7TH ROYAL SUSSEX REGT.
FORMERLY OF HONG KONG VOLUNTEER CORPS
SECOND SON OF FRANCES PETER DIXON
BORN 12TH JANUARY 1883
KILLED IN ACTION AT HEILLY 7TH AUGUST 1918
BURIED AT HEILLY MILITARY CEMETERY
Arthur is buried at Hop Store Cemetery Belgium which is in Vlamertinghe village. His family had “Born in Carlisle 26th Sept 1889” inscribed on his gravestone. Peter Sydenham was buried at Heilly then after the armistice reburied at Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Denston College Alumni Records
1911 RG14 23376 & RG14 21543
1901 RG13 4867 113 34
1881 RG11 5158 34 1
1871 RG10 5216 14 1
1861 RG09 3913 74 1
1851 HO107 2429 60 7
d) Cumberland News 19/6/1915