No. 86122, 5th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery
Killed in action on Sunday 17 September 1916 (aged 46)
Pozieres British Cemetery, France (Grave II. F. 35)
Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)
Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance
Winnipeg Next-of-Kin Memorial Manitoba
William Dickson was born on 19 July 1870 (at attestation he declared 18 July 1872) in the townland of Ballymagaughey, Ballygowan and he was a son of James and Mary Dickson (nee Shields) who were married on 5 May 1866 in First Comber Presbyterian Church.
The Dickson family lived in the townland of Ballymagaughey, Ballygowan and in the townland of Ballywilliam, Comber.
James Dickson worked as a labourer and farm servant and he and Mary had at least four children:
John (born 2 February 1867 in Ballywilliam; married Emily Bennett on 9 November 1894 in Westbourne Presbyterian Church)
William (born 19 July 1870 in Ballymagaughey)
Mary (born 2 January 1873 in Ballymeghan)
Sarah (born 31 October 1874 in Ballymagaughey; married James Bassett on 17 December 1897 in Dundonald Presbyterian Church)
William Dickson and Anna Maria (Annie) Connor were married on 5 January 1906 in Dundonald Presbyterian Church. William described himself as a soldier and both stated that they were from Comber. Their son James was born on 27 March 1910 when William was serving as a Gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery at Spike Island, Cork. In May 1911 William, Annie, and James Dickson sailed from Liverpool to Quebec aboard the RMS Teutonic. The Dickson family moved to Winnipeg and in civilian life William worked as a shoemaker. William and Annie’s son Robert Connor Dickson was born on 20 April 1914; their third child, a daughter, died in infancy.
William Dickson enlisted on 8 December 1914 in Winnipeg, Manitoba (aged 44) where he and his wife Annie were then living at 619 Alverstone Street. Records show that they took in lodgers.
In his attestation papers it was noted that William Dickson was 5 feet 7½ inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and grey hair. It was also noted that he had served for 19 years with the Royal Garrison Artillery, nine of them in India.
In August 1915 William Dickson arrived in Plymouth, England and went to France in January 1916 with the 5th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery.
When Gunner William Dickson (No. 86122) was killed in action near Pozieres on 17 September 1916 (aged 46) his wife Annie was living at 549 Simcoe Street, Winnipeg. After that Annie and her two children moved around and subsequently lived at several different addresses.
Gunner William Dickson (No. 86122) was buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, France and he is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM), in the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance, and on the Winnipeg Next-of-Kin Memorial.
Gunner William Dickson’s widow, Annie Dickson (nee Connor), died in January 1940 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg.
Gunner Dickson’s son James left school when he was around 15/16 years old and worked for a printing firm. Married to Betty, James and Betty had a son named William. James Dickson died in January 1948 (aged 39) and was buried in St James’ Cemetery, Winnipeg.
During the Second World War Gunner Dickson’s son Robert served aboard the minesweeper HMCS Blairmore. Married to Dorothy and then to Bertha, Robert Connor Dickson died in November 1999 (aged 85) and was interred in the Assumption Cemetery and Queen of Heaven Mausoleum, Winnipeg.
Gunner William Dickson’s nephew, Stoker First Class John Dickson (No. C/K 26818) was killed in action aboard HMS Curacoa on 24 April 1940 during the Second World War. In July 1939 HMS Curacoa was converted into an anti-aircraft cruiser and in April 1940 while on escort duty during the Norwegian Campaign was damaged by German aircraft. In October 1942 HMC Curacoa, again while on escort duty, sank after being struck amidships by RMS Queen Mary.
Stoker First Class John Dickson was a son of John and Emily Dickson (nee Bennett) who were married on 9 November 1894 in Westbourne Presbyterian Church. John Dickson worked as a shoemaker and he and Emily had at least five children:
John (born 7 June 1896 at 29 Kathleen Street, Belfast)
William (born 2 February 1898 at 29 Kathleen Street, Belfast; died 4 January 1940)
Mary (born 26 May 1900 in Ballyhackamore; died from pulmonary tuberculosis 8 February 1907 in Ballymagaughey)
Sarah (born 6 November 1902 at 10 New Street, Ballyhackamore)
Emily (born 14 September 1905 in Ballyhackamore)
Emily Dickson (nee Bennett) from 10 New Street, Ballyhackamore died in Belfast Asylum on 8 January 1908 as the result of pulmonary phthisis.
John Dickson and Theresa McMillan were married on 19 March 1917 in Westbourne Presbyterian Church.