Driver GEORGE ARTHUR DIXON (photo added)

Serviceman Headstone thumbnail image Serviceman grave marker Serviceman thumbnail
Rank Driver
Forenames GEORGE ARTHUR
Surname DIXON (photo added)
Initials G A
Place of Birth Unknown
Date of Birth Unknown
Date of Death Thursday, 10 August 1944
Age 24
Nationality Unknown
Residence or Entered Service From Unknown, UNKNOWN
Service Number 2129806
Force British Army
Service/Corps/Regiment Royal Engineers
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
Epitaph
Family Details Unknown

Additional Information

 

Driver GEORGE ARTHUR DIXON (left) and best friend Sapper Leslie Robert Turrell (right)

 

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

 

The stick list for those from 3 Troop, 3 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers
jumping with Driver GEORGE ARTHUR DIXON, 6th June 1944.2
 
Mission to destroy the bridge at Robehomme.
 
Lieutenant Jack D. Inman (10 Section Leader)
Driver L. Turrell
Lance Sergeant E. J. Wren
Lance Corporal J. Devine
Sapper A. J. Moffat
Driver GEORGE ARTHUR DIXON
Driver J. McMillan
Lance Corporal Robert 'Bob' J. Sullivan
Sapper W. Gaham
Driver J. Thompson
Sapper F. H. Loomes
Sapper J. Boyle
Sapper I. Lord
Corporal E. B. H. Bandury
Lieutenant Thomas 'Tom' Bertie Vawdrey Marsh (Section Leader)3
 
 

3 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers

 

References
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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