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Forename(s): John

Place of Birth: Burton-in-Lonsdale, Yorkshire

Service No: G/66869

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 17th (Service) Battalion. (Empire)

Division: 2nd Division

Age: 20

Date of Death: 1918-03-18

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Addenda

CWGC Cemetery: ---


Non-CWGC Burial: ---




Additional Information:

John Dickinson (born 21 June 1897) was the son of William and Elizabeth Dickinson, née Masheter. William was born at Meathop and Elizabeth at Cinderbarrow, Beathwaite Green near Levens, Westmorland.

1901 Burton-in-Lonsdale, Yorkshire Census: Sun Inn, Duke Street - John Dickinson, aged 3 years, born Burton-in-Lonsdale, son of Wm and Eliz Dickinson.

1911 Low Bentham, Yorkshire Census: Stone Gate Cottage - John Dickinson, aged 13 years, born Burton-in-Lonsdale, Yorkshire, son of William and Elizabeth Dickinson.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte John Dickenson, GS/66869, R. Fus.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte John Dickenson G/66869, 32/R. Fus. 5.7.17 to 17.2.18. 17/R. Fus. 18.2.18 to 18.3.18. D. P. 18.3.18. Theatres of war in which served: 1(a) [France and Belgium].

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte John Dickenson, 66869, 17 R. Fus. Date and Place of Death: 18.3.18 assumed dead. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Father - William. £10. Includes War Gratuity: £4 10s. 0d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: Private John Dickinson, G.66869, Regiment or Ship: R.W. Surrey's - See Royal Fusiliers [Pension Card]. Name of Dependant: Miss Jane Dickinson. Relationship to Man: Sister. Address: 2, Albert Cottage[s], Low Bentham.

John is commemorated on the Midland Railway War Memorial at Derby.

John was accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC in 2018.

A short biography of John is included in: ‘Bentham’s Part in the Great War 1914-18’ by Allan and Marilyn Hartley (2019).

Data Source: Local War Memorial


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


No photo available for this Soldier
Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 2nd Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 2nd Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: Not identified in SDGW.










Died Date:

Died How:

Theatre of War:


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): John

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: G/66869

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Unit: 17th Bn.

Age: 20


Died Date: 18/03/1918

Additional Information: Son of William and Elizabeth Dickinson, of Bentham, York.

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War Diary (WO 95/1363/1) of the 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers

Front Line Vacquerie Centre Sector

18th March 1918

Battalion relieved the 1st Kings Regt in the Front line. A raid was carried out by 2/Lt FISH and 17 O.Rs. taping out etc arranged by 2/Lt PANTING. The party entered the enemy front line opposite ANCHOR SAP to gain identifications. Several enemy were killed and shoulder straps of 3 men of the 88th R.I.R. 21st Reserve Division (NORMAL) were obtained. No live Huns were taken owing to the keenness of our new men in the raid, who actually shot a prisoner in their excitement. Congratulations were received from 2nd Div - 99th - 6th and 5th Brigades as so many other units had failed to gain identifications our Casualties were 1 missing - whilst 8 or 10 Germans are known to have been killed. Much salvage collected.

[The missing soldier was probably Pte John Dickinson.]

THE 17th (S.) BATTALION ROYAL FUSILIERS 1914-1919 by Everard Wyrall (1930)

On the 3rd [March 1918], however, another significant entry appears in the Battalion diary: ‘much enemy movement’, and for several days before the fateful day similar references to movement in and behind the enemy’s lines occur, such as: ‘enemy movement plentiful from north to south’, ‘large bodies of enemy seen entering Marcoing’, ‘movement again plentiful’.

Came orders to raid the enemy and obtain identifications, for the arrival of fresh German divisions was certain.

Previous to the raid the Battalion on the night of the 17th (being then still in the support line) sent out a fighting patrol under 2nd Lieutenant Panting to gain an identification if possible. The patrol entered Neptune and Anchor Saps but no Germans were to be seen, and the only thing captured was a notice-board which was brought back.

On the 18th the Fusiliers took over the La Vacquerie centre sector and began preparations for the raid.

The raiding party was led by 2nd Lieutenant Fish, who had 17 other ranks with him. The taping out was done by 2nd Lieutenant Panting. The raiders ‘went over’ and entered the enemy’s front line opposite Anchor Sap. In fine style they entered the Bosche line. Second Lieutenant Fish jumped first into the trench and seized one German whom he retained at the point of his revolver. Lance-Corporal Bradley caught about six bunched in the communication trench and trying to get away. He dropped two bombs, one in front of them and one in the middle, both exploding. Several Germans were killed and shoulder-straps cut off the tunics of three dead men; ‘no live Huns were taken owing to the keenness of our men in the raid, who actually shot a prisoner in their excitement’. Eight or ten Germans were killed. The Fusiliers had succeeded where so many other units had failed and congratulations were showered upon them from Divisional Headquarters of the 99th, 6th and 5th Brigades.

On the 20th of March the diary of the Fusiliers gives what is perhaps the most comprehensive picture of the enemy’s final preparations so far as seen from the British lines:

‘Enemy movement very abnormal. Several staff officers seen round La Vacquerie and a relief seemed certain. Several hundreds of enemy seen entering and leaving the trenches in full packs. Brigade warned. Signs of enemy offensive. Several enemy machine guns taken into their front and support lines.’

At last the question which every officer and man had for weeks been asking, was on the point of being answered.

[On the 21 March 1918 the Germans began a series of attacks on the Western Front that they called the Kaiserschlacht - ‘the Kaiser’s Battle’.]

THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND DIVISION 1914-1918 Vol. II. 1916-1918 by Everard Wyrall

On the night of the 16th-17th March [1918] a fighting patrol of the 17th Royal Fusiliers, under Second-Lieut. Panting, crossed No Man’s Land in order to obtain an identification. The patrol succeeded in entering Neptune and Anchor saps, but the only thing obtained was an enemy notice board. From the information gained by this patrol, a raid was planned for the night of the 18th. Throughout the afternoon of the 17th the 47th (Howitzer) Battery and the 6-inch “Newtons” cut wire at the point to be raided and on both flanks. The place selected for the raid was at the point of juncture between the 6th and 99th Infantry Brigades, opposite No. 1 Post. For some time past patrols had reported this locality held by the enemy at night.

The raiding party consisted of Second-Lieut. Fish, one sergeant, and ten other ranks, of the 17th Royal Fusiliers. The forming-up tapes were laid early on the night of the 18th, this important and dangerous work being carried out by Second-Lieut. Panting, who from his patrol work had an accurate knowledge of the ground to be crossed and the sap to be raided. The tapes were put out about sixty yards from the enemy. “Zero” had been fixed for 11 p.m.

Forming up was begun at 10.30 p.m., but this operation was observed by the enemy, who opened fire with machine guns, rifle grenades, and bombs. But fortunately the fire was inaccurate, and caused no casualties.

At 11 p.m. the raiding party went forward in three groups, one to proceed north along Cover Trench, one south, and the remaining party along the communication trench running south-eastwards. A barrage of 18-pounders and howitzers, 3-inch Stokes mortars and 6-inch “Newtons” had been arranged, and immediately it opened the raiders dashed forward. The enemy, numbering about twenty men, fled. Second-Lieut. Fish was first into the enemy’s trench and, seeing a German, held him prisoner at the point of his revolver, but some of the officer’s party, not realizing that the man had surrendered, killed him. Lance-Corporal Bradley caught six of the enemy in a communication trench trying to get away. He promptly dropped one bomb in front of them and another in their midst, both bombs exploding. Of No. 1 party detailed to proceed along the trench northwards, some men rushed up the trench for about fifty yards, whilst others moved along the top, firing at the enemy as they ran. No. 3 party did the same on the south. At least ten Germans were killed, but it was found impossible to move the dead. Several pairs of epaulettes were, however, cut from the tunics of the dead men and brought back. The Fusiliers, in this raid, lost one man missing and one wounded.

“The artillery, Stokes mortars, and ‘Newton’ barrages were most effective,” said the Official Report, “and completely silenced the enemy’s machine guns and trench mortars.”

The identifications obtained were normal, showing that the men had belonged to the 88th R.I.R., 21st Reserve Division. “No live Germans were taken owing to the keenness of our men in the raid,” said the Fusiliers’ Diary. With pardonable pride the Diary also records the receipt of congratulations from 2nd Division Headquarters, 99th, 6th, and 5th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, “as so many other units had failed to gain identifications.”


View Craven Herald Articles

View Craven Herald Articles

Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

26 November 1915

LOW BENTHAM – Recruiting at Low Bentham

The name of Mr. Albert Townley, a silk dresser at Low Bentham Silk Mill, and only son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Townley, of Wenning Cottages, Low Bentham, was omitted from the list of recruits given in our last week’s issue who joined the Royal Fusiliers at Lancaster on Saturday, Nov. 12th. Mr. John Dickinson, youngest son of Mr. Wm. Dickenson, and the late Mrs. Dickinson, of Albert Cottages, Low Bentham a porter at High Bentham Station, has enlisted. Mr. Edward Homes, of Low Bentham, and Mr. Geo. Lister, second son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Lister, of Low Bentham, visited Lancaster last week, but both failed to pass the medical test.

22 June 1917


Driver [Private] Percy Dixon, of the West Yorkshire Regt., arrived home from the Front on Saturday, for ten days well-earned rest. He has been in France seventeen months. Pte. John Dickenson, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regt., has also been here on a few days furlough. The latest recruit from the village is John Walling who joined the colours on Friday last.

12 October 1917

LOWER BENTHAM – News of the Boys

Private John Dickinson, youngest son of Mr. William Dickinson, has been wounded in the right elbow and is in hospital at Leeds. He enlisted in March and was drafted into the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, but has since been transferred into the Royal Fusiliers. Three other brothers are also serving – one is in France, another at Salonica, and the other in the Royal Navy.– News has been received that Pte. William Throupe, of the West Yorks., has been invalided to hospital at Birmingham, suffering from gas. He has been previously invalided home with trench fever.

09 November 1917


Private John Dickenson, Royal Fusiliers, has been home on ten days’ sick furlough. He was wounded in the right elbow whilst on active service.

01 February 1918

LOWER BENTHAM – Soldiers on Leave

Bombadier Charles MacDonald, Notts and Derby Regiment, has been home on embarkation leave; Private Richard Townson, K.O.Y.L.I., is over on the usual fourteen days’ furlough from France. Private Richard Robinson, K.O.Y.L.I., Private John Dickenson, Royal Fusiliers, and F. Sugden, R.N., have also been spending a few days at Home.

17 May 1918


Official intimation was received on Sunday that Private John Dickenson, 22, Royal Fusiliers, youngest son of Mr. W. Dickenson, Albert Cottages, Low Bentham, has been posted as missing since the 18th March. Private Dickenson has been previously wounded and has three other brothers serving. Prior to enlisting he was in the employ of the Midland Railway Co.


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