|Surname||DIXON (photo added)|
|Place of Birth||Unknown|
|Date of Birth||Unknown|
|Date of Death||Thursday, 10 August 1944|
|Residence or Entered Service From||Unknown, UNKNOWN|
|Service Number||2129806||Force||British Army|
|Unit / Ship / Battalion / Squadron||3 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers (6th Airborne Division)|
|Military Honours and Awards|
|Place of Burial/Commemoration||
RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY
Roll of honour
|Grave/Memorial Location||VA. M. 9.|
|Previous Place(s) of Burial||Unknown|
Driver GEORGE ARTHUR DIXON and Driver Leslie Robert Turrell (1923 – 2005) were best friends.
GEORGE DIXON was an orphan with no known family. They were both Sappers in 3 Troop, 3rd Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers, 3rd Parachute Brigade, 6th Airborne Division, British Army.
At 1am on 6th June 1944, Driver Leslie Turrell, Sapper Bob Sullivan, Lt Geoff Inman and their containers containing explosives landed near Varaville in shallow water. The remainder of the ‘stick’ was scattered due to the pilot taking evasive action to avoid a shot down Dakotas. They collected the explosives and walked to the bridge at Varaville where upon they met other Sappers who did not have any explosives. They left half their explosives and continued to walk to the bridge at Robehomme. They arrived at Robehomme at 6am where they met their Sgt Bill Poole and some infantry from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. They then blew the west side abutment to the bridge. Shortly afterwards a lorry mounted German patrol arrived from the west and a fire fight ensued resulting in the German infantry doing a retreat.
They then walked to the cross roads at Le Mesnil and ‘dug in’ and there was no further contact with the Germans on this day. On route they stopped at a farmers house for a drink but the family was so frightened that they immediate left as the family did not believe that they were British. With the exception of the commotion from the beaches 5 miles away and the sky being filled with planes, the 6th June in Le Mesnil was ‘like a normal day in France with the farmers out in their fields’. Unbeknown to George, the German 21st Panzer Division was moving up from Caen. On the afternoon of the 6th Sapper Turner removed his hat for ‘digging in’ as it was quiet and very hot work. An officer came by and fined him 3 days pay for being improperly dressed on the battlefield.
On 7th Lune the Germans attacked non-stop for next 4 days with hand-to-hand fighting. The line then stabilised and the sappers gave up their infantry role and then returned to their normal engineering functions such as laying of mines in no-mans land, building battlefield command structures and repairing roads.
On the 10th August 1944, Drivers' Dixon and Turrell and Sappers' Bob Sullivan, JAMES BENSON, and SIDNEY JOHN CROSS were a mile or so behind the front line staying in a farm house for a shot period of R&R (rest and recouperation). Sapper Leslie Robert Turrell and Sapper Bob Sullivan left the farm to collect supplies and cigarettes. They were walking back when a German plane got shot down and crashed into the farm house immediately in front of them and instantly killing Sappers' DIXON, BENSON and CROSS.1
|1.||Account from Driver Leslie Robert Turrell via his son Paul Turrell.|
|2.||Stick list provided by Driver Leslie Robert Turrell via his son Paul Turrell.|
|3.||Full names of officers from Gale's Eyes, 6th Airborne Division, Who was Who During the Battle of Normandy. by Carl Rijmen. Published 2009. Private Publication.|
Acknowledgements and Credits
|Source of original data:||Commonwealth War Graves Commission|
|Headstone photograph:||Carl Shilleto|
|Cross marker photograph:|
|Individual photograph:||Paul Turrell|
|Additional photographs provided by:||Paul Turrell|
|Additional information provided by:||Driver Leslie Robert Turrell via his son Paul Turrell, Carl Rijmen and Carl Shilleto.|
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