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St Peter-in-the East Church: Guy Richard Worstenholme DICKINSON (1877–1917)

Guy Richard Worstenholme Dickinson was born at Castleford, Yorkshire in 1877, the son of John Henry Dickinson (born in Knaresborough, Yorkshire in 1847) and Susannah Martha Tompkins (born in Leamington, Warwickshire in 1847). His parents were married at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire on 15 July 1873 and had ten sons:

  • Reginald Charles Edmund Dickinson (born at Kippax, near Castleford, Yorkshire on 4 May 1874 and baptised at his mother's home at Upper Heyford on 26 July)
  • Alfred George Douglas Dickinson (born at Castleford, Yorkshire on 4 November 1875 and baptised there on 16 January 1876)
  • Guy Richard Worstenholme Dickinson (born at Castleford, Yorkshire on 31 August 1877 and baptised there on 6 October)
  • Percy Frederick Dickinson (born at Castleford, Yorkshire on 2 January 1879 and baptised there on 14 April)
  • Leonard Henry Dickinson (born at Beckley, Oxford in 1880 and baptised there on 19 September)
  • Sidney John Dickinson (born at Beckley, Oxford in 1881/2 and baptised there on 19 February 1882)
  • Evelyn James Dickinson (born in Stanley Road, Oxford in 1883 and baptised at Cowley St John Church on 26 June)
  • Osborne Dickinson (born in Marston in 1887 and baptised there on 16 October; died aged seven months and buried there on 5 May 1888)
  • Harold Dickinson (born at 6 Merton Street on 25 November 1889 and baptised at St John-the-Baptist Church the same day ; died aged four days and buried at Marston on 29 November)
  • Eric Charles Dickinson (born at 6 Merton Street, Oxford in 1892 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 27 July).

Guy's father was a schoolmaster and initially continued in this occupation after his marriage, first at Castleford in Yorkshire, and then from 1880 in Beckley, Oxfordshire.

At the time of the 1881 census Guy (3) was living in the School House at Beckley with his father John, who was described as an elementary teacher, and his mother Susannah (who were both aged 33), and his brothers Reginald (6), Alfred (5), Percy (2), and Leonard (nine months), plus their 15-year-old servant girl.

Guy's maternal grandfather John Tompkins and his brother Edmund managed Merton College Real Tennis Court , and by 1883 Guy's father had taken over the job. The Dickinsons lived first at Stanley Road, moving to Marston in the mid-1880s and then on to 6 Merton Street by about 1889. The last address was in the parish of St John the Baptist Church, but in 1890 this ceased to be a parish church, and St Peter-in-the-East was now the family's place of worship.

At the time of the 1891 census Guy (13) was staying at the High Street in Sutton Courtenay with his maternal uncle Sydney Tompkins and his wife Helen. His father John, who was now described as a tennis court proprietor, was living at 6 Merton Street with Guy's mother Susannah (both aged 43) and his brothers Reginald (16), who was his father's assistant, and Alfred (15), Percy (12), Leonard (10), Sidney (9), and Evelyn (7), who were all still at school. His widowed maternal aunt Mrs Adelaide Rolls and her four children were also living with them, and they had an 18-year-old servant girl.

In 1892 Guy's youngest brother Eric was baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church.

Guy's eldest brother Reginald was married in 1896:

  • On 1 September 1896 at Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Lancashire, Reginald Charles Edmund Dickinson (22) of St John the Baptist parish in Oxford married Frances Jane Rose (23) of St Saviour's, Manchester: his banns were read St Peter-in-the-East Church in July and August

From 1895 to 1907 Guy played for the Oxford City Football Club 1st XI, scoring 133 goals in 197games.

In 1897 Guy was matriculated at the University of Oxford as a non-collegiate student by St Catherine's Society.

Guy is hard to find in the 1901 census and may have been abroad. His parents Henry and Susannah (now both 53) were living at 6 Merton Street with four of his brothers: Alfred (25) and Sidney (19), who were bank clerks; Evelyn (17), who had no occupation); and Eric (8), who was still at school. They also had a 19-year-old servant girl. Guy's father was described as a Royal Tennis Court Proprietor (with the word “Royal” being an error for “Real”).

In 1906 Guy played in the 1906 Amateur Cup Final.

Guy's brother Alfred was married in 1908:

  • In the third quarter of 1908 in Richmond, Alfred George Douglas Dickinson married Jennie Louise Hart or Hitchcock.

At the time of the 1911 census Guy (33) was a schoolmaster, living at 236 Iffley Road with his father John (63), who was still a tennis court proprietor, his mother Susannah, and his brother Eric (18), who was an architect. His other unmarried brothers were away from home: Percy (31) was a farmer, living on his own at Garford near Abingdon and employing a housekeeper and housemaid; Sydney (29) was an estate agent, paying a visit to the Buzzard family in East London; and Evelyn (27) had emigrated to Canada.

Two of Guy's brothers were married in 1912:

  • On 6 February 1912 at Eynsham parish church, Percy Frederick Dickinson, described as a farmer of Garford, Marcham, Berkshire, married Mary Elizabeth Deane (28), a yeoman's daughter of Twelve Acre, Eynsham;
  • On 9 June 1912 at Maple Ridge District Municipality, British Columbia, Canada, Evelyn James Dickinson married Joyce Jeffries Davis.

At some point between 1911 and 1915 Guy emigrated to Canada.

Poppy In the First World War Guy Richard Worstenholme Dickinson enlisted in the 54th Canadian Infantry at Vernon, British Columbia in July 1915. He served as a Private in the 27th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Service No. 443233). He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 40 on 6 November 1917 (the last day of the Third Battle of Ypres).

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 24-26-28-30), and on the St Catherine's Society and the St Peter-in-the-East Church war memorials, both of which are now on the wall of Balliol College Archives (the former St Cross Church). He is also on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.


After the war

Guy's parents

His father John Henry Dickinson died in 1924 at 31 Museum Road Oxford at the age of 75 and was buried on 17 July (burial is recorded in the register of St Peter-in-the East Church). His mother Susannah Martha Dickinson died in 1926 at 6 Merton Street at the age of 78 and was buried with her husband on 8 April. Her effects came to £1,244 3s. 10d., and her executors were her eldest sons Reginald and Arthur.

Guy's seven surviving brothers

  • Reginald Charles Edmund Dickinson (born 1874) and his wife Frances had three children. They initially lived at Iffley, and when their first child, Beatrice Susannah Rose Dickinson, was baptised there on 29 March 1898, he was described as a professional tennis player. He then took over his father's job as tennis court proprietor and his house at 6 Merton Street, and his next two children were born there and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church: Reginald Evelyn Dickinson (baptised on 16 June 1905) and Zara Eileen Dickinson (baptised on 3 July 1908). Reginald joined the Royal Air Force on 4 July 1918. In 1926 when he was his mother's executor he was still described as a tennis court proprietor. He died in Oxford at the age of 56 in 1930.
  • Alfred George Douglas Dickinson (born 1875) was a bank clerk aged 35 in 1911, living at 24 Kingsway, Mortlake, Surrey with his wife Jeannie and their daughter Eileen Mary (1). In 1926 when he was his mother's executor he was described as a bank manager. He died at Uphill Cottage, Spinfield Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire at the age of 63 on 19 August 1939. His effects came to £2,528 5s. 4d., and his executors were his widow Jeannie and his daughter Eileen (now Mrs Willan).
  • Percy Frederick Dickinson (born 1879) and his wife Mary may have had one child (Geoffrey Dickinson, reg. Croydon 1914 with parents surnamed Dickinson/Deane). Percy's home was at Northleigh when he died at Stone Asylum in Buckinghamshire at the age of 45 on 9 December 1924. His effects came to £810 13s. 8d., and his widow Mary was his executor.
  • Leonard Henry Dickinson (born 1880) is hard to find after the 1891 census. He may have emigrated to Canada, as a man of that name died there in 1961.
  • Sidney John Dickinson (born in 1881/2) is hard to find after the 1911 census. He appears to have emigrated to the USA, where he died on 18 February 1956.
  • Evelyn James Dickinson (born 1883) and his wife Joyce are hard to trace in Canada. He died there in 1969.
  • Eric Charles Dickinson (born 1892) does not appear to have married. He died in Oxford at the age of 59 in 1951 and was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery (Plot C2: 153) on 20 December.

See also
  • CWGC entry for DICKINSON, G R W
  • Dickinson's short entry in the University of Oxford Roll of Service book
  • Dickinson's name and brief details on the City of Oxford Honour Roll
  • Photograph of Dickinson in the Heroes of the War section of the Oxford Journal Illustrated, 5 December 1917, p. 6 (Picture Oxon ref. POX0052480)

© Stephanie Jenkins

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