Name:Peter Sydenham Dixon
DoB: January 12 1883
Regt:Lieutenant Royal Sussex
DoD: August 7 1918
Academic Career: CGS 1892 – 1897. Denstone College 1897-9, Solicitor 1906, in practice Hong Kong 1907-16
Other: son of Francis P Dixon Esq., 7, Howard Terrace.
Peter and Arthur were the two youngest sons of Francis Peter and Jane Dixon. The family had been in cotton manufacturing for several generations, as Peter Dixon and Sons, Carlisle’s huge tower still known as Dixon’s Chimney was part of their mill. The family business had ceased to trade in 1883. Peter and Arthur’s great grandfather another Peter had established a large family home at Holme Eden, in 1861 he was 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, Peter’s great-grandfather had also been Carlisle’s mayor, his gt gt uncle had been High Sheriff of Cumberland and an M.P. Other members of the family also held public office.
Peter’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.
Peter unlike his two brothers Arthur and Francis, was not destined for the family business. After leaving Carlisle grammar school he went to Denstone College and by 1901 was articled as a solicitor’s clerk, serving his articles with Mr. C.B.Hodgson, Clerk of the Peace for Cumberland. He qualified as a solicitor in 1905 and went to Hong Kong.
With the outbreak of war in 1914 Peter joined the Hong Kong Volunteers and served with them for eighteen months, before returning to England. He enlisted at Chichester, West Sussex on June 27 1916, he was given a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regt., and he made Lieutenant in 1917. He was described as 5ft 9″ tall and he weighed 165lb. In the army his legal training was used in courts martial. He was killed near Albert in France in 1918. His brother had been killed three years earlier.
Royal Sussex Regt
He kept a travel diary and his account of his five week journey to China was published in the April 1914 issue of “The Carliol”.
According to his obituary in the Cumberland News (17th Aug 1918)
“His letters home up to the last were always of the cheeriest description for he was possessed of a fine sense of humour, which frequently found expression in excellent short stories, some of which had been accepted for publication in “The Queen”, “The Windsor Magazine” and other periodicals.”
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
Peter Sydenham was buried at Heilly then after the armistice reburied at Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension. His family had “of Carlisle and Hong Kong” inscribed on his gravestone.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Fiona Atkinson, Denstonian Alumni Co-ordinator
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 17/8/1918
e) File at the National Archives Kew WO339/64707