Born: September 22, 1915
Died: April 20th 1941
Eric [known as “Budgie”] was born in Oakfield, Horbury, Yorkshire. His parents were John Kemp Smith Dixon [1879-1958] and Elfrida nee Hopkins. J.K.S. Dixon was a Member of the Chemical Society and a Manager with Henry Richardson & Company of York. His mother’s father was a well-known organist at All, Saints, Pavement, York. Eric had a sister.
He was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield and won an Exhibition to St. Edward’s School, Oxford. He matriculated in 1935 and read History.
He was a Cricket Blue, playing cricket for the University from 1936 to 1939 and captaining the team in 1939. He played for the Yorkshire 2nd XI from 1936 to 1938. In May 1938, he was in the side that played the Australians, captained by Donald Bradman, on the Christ Church ground. In the 1939 season, he played for Northamptonshire. He passed 2000 runs in First-Class Matches when he reached 72 at the University Match at Lord’s on 1st, 3rd & 4th July1939. In three years, he played 49 First Class matches and scored 2356 runs.
He went to teach at Summer Fields in September 1939, described by the Headmaster as “the University Cricket Captain who is, also, a first-rate musician and an historian”
He was called up after only one term and joining the Fleet Air Arm was a P/T/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR with 806 Squadron on the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable when with Lt J. H. Shears, he went missing flying from her off the coast of Tripoli, Libya on April 20th 1941. He was Mentioned in Despatches.
He is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial Bay 2, Panel 6. and on the Memorials at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, St. Edward’s School and Summer Fields, Oxford.
He left £174-1-9. Probate was granted to his widow.
He married Avice Margaret Harrison in 1940. She remarried in 1949, John Piesse, a London solicitor. She died in 2004.
The St. Edward’s records state,
During his six years at SES he never altered in character or lost his simplicity of outlook. The years brought increasing success and responsibility, at the organ, on the cricket field, as a prefect, but these things left him unchanged and he still got from life, laughter and beauty and an ever-growing number of friends. He was an Exhibitioner, a School Prefect, he played the organ and above all was one of the best cricketers the school ever produced, both before and since. Some of his record statistics still stand today.
With thanks to Summer Fields and St. Edward’s and the daughter of John Piesse.