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Remembered Today:

200762 Pte Alan Jack Dix 1 Bn Norfolks Polderhoek Chateau 9th October 1917


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Rory Stephens

Remembering today Great Uncle Alan Jack Dix who was killed while advancing with the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment on Polderhoek Chateau as part of the 5th Division assault there during the Battle of Poelkapelle October 9th 1917. Sadly I have no photograph of him, but have been to his grave at Hooge Crater Cemetery many times. Not forgotten image.png.fe72cd561f41cd3c64e42ac31cf00efd.png

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3 hours ago, Rory Stephens said:

Remembering today Great Uncle Alan Jack Dix who was killed while advancing with the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment on Polderhoek Chateau as part of the 5th Division assault there during the Battle of Poelkapelle October 9th 1917.

 

I assume you aware that there are surviving service records for him and that he was initially service number 3597 when he enlisted at Norwich on the 6th November 1914. He was posted to the 2/4th Battalion two days later and was with them at the time of the Territorial Force renumbering at the start of 1917. He was posted to France, landing on the 15th June 1917 and then being posted to the 1st Battalion via 17 Infantry Base Depot.

 

He was originally recorded as Wounded and Missing, his body subsequently being discovered in the post war battlefield clearances. He and two others, (probably three - the third was recorded as an unknown British Soldier) of the Norfolk Regiment were recovered from Map Reference Sheet 28 J.16.c.8.4.

Details from the Concentration Report on his webpage at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/457862/A J DIX/

 

A Miss Marr, of Manor Farm, Barton. Cambridge wrote to the International Committee of the Red Cross enquiring after Lance-Corporal 200762 Alan Jack Dix, of 9 Platoon, 'C'Company, 1st Battalion, Norfolk Regiment who had been reported wounded and missing in 1917. Sadly the ICRC would have to write back on the 14th December 1917 that they had heard nothing.

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/3795509/3/2/

 

'C' Company and half of 'A' Company, who were leading the attack in the dark and rain went of course to the right and veered in front of the heavilly defended Chateau, losing the barrage.. The other half of 'A' Company. (No.1 and No.2 Platoons) also lost direction and went too far left. "B" Company were thrown in to try to link up the two and extricate them, but many could not return until the following night and many of the wounded could not be recovered until then.

 

3 hours ago, Rory Stephens said:

Sadly I have no photograph of him

 

Local newspapers are normally your best bet, but the family seems to have moved around a fair bit making it difficult to know where the family or relatives might have submitted a picture, (if indeed they ever did) and also where they might have put his name forward for remembrance.

 

He was born at Lowestoft, and while he might possibly be in the Book of Remembrance at Lowestoft Museum, his name isn't on the memorial panels in the War Memorial Chapel at St Margarets, Lowestoft.

 

On the 1901 Census of England & Wales the family were living at Cromer Road, Holt, but he isn't remembered on either the town War Memorial or the one in St Andrews.

 

On the 1911 Census of England & Wales the family were living at 87, Mill Hill Road, Norwich - the address he gave when he enlisted. The Road was split between the parishes of St Thomas on Earlham Road, and St. Peter on Park Lane, but being a City there were many potential churches, Anglian and non-conformist he could have attended. In his service record it is noted that he was Church of England. A publication was produced by the local newspaper company in the early 1920's to raise funds for disabled servicemen, widows and orphan. It listed all the names that had appeared on the recently unveiled War Memorials across the County - it's very useful as particularly in Norwich a number of the churches or their contents would be lost in WW2 bombing. Going through the entries for Norwich I could not find any mention of Alan.

 

I've not come across any mention of him so far in the Norwich based papers that I have transcribed, but I've barely scratched the surface.

 

While the main Norwich War Memorial in front of City Hall doesn't have any names on it, a separately commissioned set of panels does. Unfortunately it arrived very late and over budget and there were serious issues with the standard of workmanship. It was then confined to storage, but put back on display as part of the centennial commemorations. It's in a very fragile state - the City Council were looking at having it restored. Unfortunately the website with pictures of the individual panels is down at the moment, but will have a look later to see if Alan is listed.

 

Post-war there was also a display of photos of the fallen at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Many of these would subsequently be donated to the County Archive. No match for Alan there either.

 

Checking Alans' service record it looks like the telegram notifying that he was missing was sent to an address in Ipswich and all the subsequent correspondence, include form W.5080 show that is where his parents were living. None of his siblings at the time the W.5080 was completed in February 1920 were still living in Norwich.

According to the Ipswich War Memorial project website there is no-one with the surname Dix recorded on any of the local memorials.

https://www.ipswichwarmemorial.co.uk/

 

I assume Miss Marr from Barton, Cambridgeshire was either a girlfriend or even a fiancee. However a check of the Barton, Cambridgeshire War Memorial shows he is not remembered there either.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/Barton.html

 

Apologies if none of this is news to you.

 

We will remember them,

 

Peter

 

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Rory Stephens

Hi Peter

 

And thanks for such a thorough response. I am unable to respond immediately to all your points, but will definitely be in touch over the weekend. I have his service records and the letters from his mother enquiring on her son. The most interesting new info was on Miss Marr, this is news to me. How did you come by this little gem?

I have found him on a Memorial in Ipswich as the the family were living at 3 Dilwyn Street. In the main Ipswich cemetery there is a shrine to the fallen of the Great War. His name I am led to believe is on a panel there, but i have not seen it.

 

I will respond in full soon - but thank you again for your message and for engaging so readily with info on my relative

 

All the best

 

Rory

 

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13 hours ago, Rory Stephens said:

The most interesting new info was on Miss Marr, this is news to me. How did you come by this little gem?

Whenever a man's death can't immediately be accounted for, (even if like Alan it subsequently is discoverd), I check out the International Committee of the Red Cross to see if a missing person enquiry was made. Concerned family \ friends often give little snippets that you just can't readily find elsewhere. She refers to him as a Lance-Corporal, which he was in the latter part of his service in the UK but then reverted back to Private on being sent overseas, which was the norm. He may of course have been made acting unpaid Lance-Corporal with the 1st Battalion, but by the time the information reached the records office in the UK he may already have been notified as missing.

 

14 hours ago, PRC said:

While the main Norwich War Memorial in front of City Hall doesn't have any names on it, a separately commissioned set of panels does. Unfortunately it arrived very late and over budget and there were serious issues with the standard of workmanship. It was then confined to storage, but put back on display as part of the centennial commemorations. It's in a very fragile state - the City Council were looking at having it restored. Unfortunately the website with pictures of the individual panels is down at the moment, but will have a look later to see if Alan is listed.

 

Checked it out and no he is isn't.

 

13 hours ago, Rory Stephens said:

I have found him on a Memorial in Ipswich as the the family were living at 3 Dilwyn Street. In the main Ipswich cemetery there is a shrine to the fallen of the Great War. His name I am led to believe is on a panel there, but i have not seen it.

 

It was a very hot summers day back in 2016 when I went down to Ipswich to take photographs of a few of the names on the civic memorial for use on another website. The 'youf" of Ipswich had decided to drape themselves over the Norfolk Regiment panels - in some ways I felt a bit glad as knowing me I would have felt obliged to research those remembered there. Of couse I then let my good intentions slip by taking over 400 pictures in Ipswich Cemetery. There are separate area's in the Cemetery when large number of War Graves have been gathered for both the Great War and WW2. The Great War one has a sheltered seating area facing the headstones. Inside the shelter are traditional metal panels with names arranged by year and then in alphabetical order. There was no explanation that I could find of what they represented, and as it only started in 1915 it wasn't a full memorial for the Ipswich area. The seated area was slightly curved, with the end walls merging with the surrounding hedges. This made it difficult to make out that names had also been carved into them - different names to those on the panels inside the shelter. They were difficult to photograph, so apologies for the low quality, but there is where you will find A.J. Dix listed.

 

DSCF0180.JPG.b39478f4bdd450c8354e74080c0de311.JPG

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Edited by PRC
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I know the area where he fell and where his body was recovered very well. Polderhoek Chateau was one of the worst, if not the worst, place in the Ypres Salient from late September 1917 onwards.

 

Jan

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  • spof changed the title to 200762 Pte Alan Jack Dix 1 Bn Norfolks Polderhoek Chateau 9th October 1917

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