Sunday, 16 November 2014

2nd Lieutenant Ray Dickinson.

A Company Officers behind their hut in the Spring of 1915.
Barwell Dickinson
Savill Jones Green

2nd Lieutenant Ray Dickinson, the son of Lady Dickinson, was well known to both John and Frances Baber, as he had been brought up at 6 Phillimore Gardens, very close to 9 Phillimore Gardens in Kensington where John's parents lived.  Ray had volunteered for the battalion during  the very first days of the war. 

John wrote in his diary on the 4th of August 1914,

"Ray enlisted, mobilised. British return ultimatum to Germany commences at Midnight."

On the  Friday 14th of August . John wrote "Morning route march.  RSD joined."

Perhaps they had not been able to process his enlistment on the 4th.

Ray Dickinson, a photo taken at Cheltenham,
 and kept by my grandmother to her death.

He was close to my grandmother and may have been her boyfriend.  She remained in contact with Ray's sisters long after Ray had been killed on the October 2nd 1915, by when he had become Captain in command of A Company. Ray was one of John's great friends in the battalion, and they planned to take their leaves together. He features in many of John's letters, as will become apparent in future posts.

In the run up to Christmas 1914, he found time to send the following card to my grandmother. It was to be his last Christmas.

Initially in B Company, under Captain Cox, when on embarkation, the battalion was changed to a four company structure he moved into No.1 Company, was then renamed A Company.

On the 16th of November 1914 this company was the first of the QWR to move up into support of 16th Infantry Brigade, and for the first time they came under fire as they carried trenching materials into the line.

He was killed on the 2nd of October 1915 near Verlorenhoek Road by shell fire as they were repairing trenches collapsed by the recent rainfall, near the aptly names Stink Houses.

He was remembered by Henriques for "His happy and cheery character, his fearlessness and his power of leadership, had made him implicitly trusted as well as beloved by his seniors and adored by his company."

Dickinson Raymond Scott, Captain London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles) 02/10/1915, Age 22, W.6. Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery (Ieper) (West Vlaanderen Belgium. [1]

[1] I am indebted to Steve Hammond for this information.

No comments: