John “Jack” Dixon GC (EM exchanger)

b. 23/06/1913 Bradford, Yorkshire. d. 13/04/1984 Lincoln.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 16/02/1939 Lincoln.

John “Jack” Dixon (1913-1984) was born on 23rd June 1913 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, the 4th child of Frederick and Matilda Dixon (nee Lyons). His father was an ex-Quartermaster Sergeant in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who at the time of Jack’s birth was working as an Infirmary Clerk. The family moved to Grantham in Lincolnshire when Jack was just one following his father becoming Barrack Warden at Belton Camp. They stayed there until 1920 when they moved again, to Lincoln where Frederick was appointed to Sobraon Barracks.

John “Jack” Dixon GC

Jack attended St John’s Infant School in Grantham moving on to Westgate Junior and North District Intermediate Schools in Lincoln. He joined Robey & Co as an apprentice straight from school. He became a qualified electrician at the company. He married Edith Ethel Scott in Lincoln on 8th January 1933, and they had a daughter.

On 16th February 1939, there was an accident at Robey & Co which saw two large overhead electric cranes and the foundry roof being set on fire. Dixon, an electrician, who was on the crane gantry to watch the electrical equipment, was able to escape from immediate danger. One of the crane drivers, Whittaker, managed to climb out of the cabin but collapsed on top of the crane with his clothes ablaze. Seeing this, Dixon promptly went back to rescue him and managed to extinguish the flame, although the fire was at its height. Then he carried Whittaker to the crane in the next bay, out on the roof and 31ft down a ladder to the ground. Dixon then collapsed; he was badly burned about the arms and body, and was absent from work for 10 weeks. He saved Whittaker’s life.

For his gallantry, Jack was awarded the Edward Medal in Bronze on 23rd February 1940 and received his medal a month later at Buckingham Palace. He also received the Carnegie Hero Trust Fund Certificate. Jack remained at Robey & Co until 1953 when he joined Leys Malleable Castings Ltd in Lincoln for two years. From 1955-1978 he worked for Ruston & Hornsby until his retirement. In 1971, he chose to exchange his Edward Medal for the George Cross. He donated his EM to the City and Country Museum, Lincoln.

Jack died on 13th April 1984 in Lincoln and was cremated at Lincoln Crematorium. His ashes were scattered there, and he is named on his wife’s headstone in Newport Cemetery, Lincoln. Ethel, Jack’s wife outlived him by 14 years, dying in 1998. Jack’s GC is held in the Dixon family. A replica is displayed in Bradford City Hall.






Richard Thompson – Image of the Dixon GC name on his wife’s headstone in Newport Cemetery, Lincoln.