Private 1608 Harry Dickinson

Died of Wounds on Friday, 12th May 1916, age 22.
Buried in Grave West 44. at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, County Dublin, Republic Of Ireland.

2nd/5th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 176th Brigade of 59th Division.

Son of William and Clara Dickinson, of 7, Nock St., Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: Unknown.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Mark's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/899996/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
112a Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs
William Dickinson (50, Axle Annealer, born Lichfield), his wife Clara (48, born Birmingham), and their 8 children: William (18, born Tipton), Robert (17, born Tipton), Edward (15, born Tipton), John (12, born Tipton), Joseph (10, born Tipton), Henry (7, born Tipton), George (3, born Tipton), and May (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
134 Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs
William Dickinson (60, Axle Annealer, born Lichfield), his wife Clara (49, born Birmingham), and 10 of their 12 surviving children of 16: Robert (27, Photographer, born Tipton), John (22, Ironwork Packer, born Tipton), Joseph (20, Ironwork Packer, born Tipton), Henry (17, Axle Maker's Labourer, born Tipton), George (13, Butcher's Assistant, born Tipton), May (11, School, born Tipton), Charlie (10, School, born Tipton), Nellie (7, born Tipton), Alice (4, born Tipton), and Arthur (1, born Tipton).

Personal Data

As Harry's service in Ireland counted as Home Service, he was not entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal when they were awarded in 1919. This might have seemed reasonable for a man who never served outside the cookhouse in Aldershot, but it does not seem fair to men like Harry who volunteered for the British Army expecting to be sent to France or Belgium. It was not Harry's choice to go to Ireland where he lost his life fighting a different enemy.

Harry's outstanding army pay and allowances were paid to his mother, Clara, in August 1916; this amounted to £2/17/d (2 pounds, 17 shillings and 7 pence). Again, as Harry's service in Dublin counted as Home Service, he was not eligible for a War Gratuity payment when these payments were made in 1919.

Action resulting in his death

The 2/5th South Staffs were trained and ready for action by April 1916, and as part of 59th Division were assigned the role of "Mobile Division" of the Home Army to repel any German invasion. In late April 1916, the Irish Rebellion began, and the 59th Division was sent to Ireland to suppress the uprising in Dublin. They came into action on 27th April, and along with the 2/6th South Staffs were involved in actions at Trinty College and North King Street. The rebellion collapsed on 29th April, but isolated incidents of gunfire continued for a few days. From the 5th May, the 2/5th South Staffs were billetted in the Royal Hospital, just a mile south-west of the General Post Office in Parnell Street.

The 2/6th South Staffs had the worst of the action with 16 men killed during their time in Ireland whereas the only casualty from the 2/5th was Harry Dickinson. Harry is recorded as having 'Died' which normally means from illness of accident, but all casualties in Ireland were recorded in the same manner, so we cannot be sure if Harry was killed in action, died of wounds, or illness or accident. Harry is buried in Gragegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin.

Newspaper Cuttings