James Nathan Dixon, Private 290687, 11th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 24th March 1918 in France, aged 23
James Nathan Dixon was born in Macclesfield in 1894 and baptised at Christ Church on 7 November 1894, the son of Sarah Ellen and Nathan Dixon, a painter of 183 Chester Road, Macclesfield. By 1901 the family had moved to 7 Alderley St, and six-year-old James was living there with his parents and siblings Hannah Alice (8) and John Needham (1).
Ten years later the family had moved again, to “Fern Lea”, 137 Chester Road. James was working with his father as a house painter; his sister Hannah had died in 1905 and was buried in Macclesfield cemetery.
James was educated at Christ Church School and was a member of the St Michael’s Church Men’s Bible Class.
James enlisted in Macclesfield, joining the local 7th Cheshire Regiment with service number 2645, and was sent to Bedford for training. He was drafted to Gallipoli, departing from Bedford in July 1915 and landing at Suvla Bay on 8 August 1915.
James contracted sunstroke at Gallipoli and was probably repatriated to England for treatment. In June 1917 he was sent to France to join the 11th Cheshire Regiment.
James was reported missing in the Macclesfield Times on 14 June 1918:
MISSING – Pte J N Dixon, Ches Regt, son of Mr and Mrs N Dixon, Fern Lea, Chester Road, Macclesfield, and partner in the firm of Messrs Nathan Dixon and Sons, decorators, 108 Chestergate, Macclesfield, has been missing since March 23-24. Pte Dixon went out to Suvla Bay in August 1915 with the local Territorials and contracted sunstroke. He had been in France since June 1917. A brother is serving at the front.
The Macclesfield Courier included the fact that James was missing in a report about his brother John on 10 August 1918:
PRIVATE J M DIXON – Mr and Mrs Nathan Dixon, of Chester Road, have received news that their son, Private John Mason (sic) Dixon, of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, has been wounded in the left knee and is now in hospital in France. He is only 18 years and 6 months old, but has been in France about four months. He formerly assisted his father in carrying on the business of Messrs Nathan Dixon and Sons, Chestergate. His brother has been missing since last March.
James was later assumed to have been killed in action on or after 24 March 1918.
Private James Dixon is commemorated on Panel Ref. Bay 5 and 6 of the Arras Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private James Dixon, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the words “To the glory of God and in memory of the members of the Parish Church Men’s Bible Class. Private J. Smallwood, Private B. Nunn, Private J. Hanna, Private S, Gibbon, Gunner C. H. Barratt, Private F. Wilson, Corporal F. J. Shaw, Private H. Bradbury, Private W. Savage, Private A. Simpson, Private A. Holt, Lance-Corporal H. J. Travis, Private C. Davenport, M.M., Private W. Webster, Private J. Downes, Private J. N. Dixon, Private C. Bailey, Private H. Bradley.”
Brother of John Needham Dixon, who served as Private 38550 with the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and was wounded in the left knee in France in August 1918, but survived the war.
Diocese of Chester Parish Baptisms (Find My Past): Christ Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects (incorrectly named as John Nathan Dixon)
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls (Ancestry)
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Courier: 10 August 1918, 24 September 1921