Arthur Edward Basil Dixon
26th September 1889 – 6th June 1915. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.
Arthur Edward Basil Dixon was a member of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, wherein he served as a Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion. He was born in 1889 in Carlisle as the latest member of the Dixon family, prominent Cumbrian cotton barons and important figures in Carlisle’s elite social and political circles. Aged 19, Arthur moved to Bolton to gain experience in the cotton game, working for Messrs Dobson and Barlow, where he worked as a lowly apprentice. It was then when he played for Manchester FC.
Dixon joined the army as soon as he could, as a Private. As with many well-to-do figures, he was quickly promoted and by 1915 he was a Lieutenant. On the 6th June, Dixon was killed near Ypres, Flanders, shot in the head, in a week when many of his former clubmates fell in the Dardenelles.
There is a plaque on the wall of St Cuthbert’s Church in Carlisle honouring Arthur, and his brother Peter, who also perished in the war.
Trinity School have located a eulogy by his comrade Lieutenant T.O. Smith; Smith’s testimony embodies the pain of the loss of his friend, the constant danger, and the rationalisation of war loss.
“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”
Dixon is buried at Hop Store Cemetery, Ypres, Plot 1, Row D.
Trinity School War Memorials
Imperial War Museum
World Rugby Museum