Diamond War Memorial Project

Private Thomas Dickson

2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders Regimental Number S/9290
Born: ---- Died: 1915-09-25 Aged: 18 Enlisted: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Name inscribed on St Columb's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Memorial to the men connected with that cathedral who died during the 1914-18 War, and recorded on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Name also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Eldest son of Private Thomas Dickson, 10th Inniskillings (Derry U.V.F., attached K.O.Y.L.I.), and Isabella Dickson, 33, Windmill Terrace, Londonderry. Brother of Robert Dickson, 52, Spencer Road, Waterside, Londonderry.

Private Dickson, who was in employment in Scotland, enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders in February 1915. He went to France in May 1915, and took part in all the engagements in which his regiment participated. He posted a letter to his mother, Isabella, on the day on which he was killed. Isabella, the eldest daughter of Thomas and Nancy Diffin, Garvagh, died on August 10, 1918, and was buried three days later, on Tuesday, August 13, 1918, in Londonderry City Cemetery.

Private Dickson was well known in Londonderry, being formerly a member of St Columb's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Choir and a corporal in the Cathedral Company of the Church Lads' Brigade. He was also a member of the Murray Club of Apprentice Boys of Derry, the 'No Surrender' Fife and Drum Band, and the U.V.F. His father and uncle served with the 10th Inniskillings, while an uncle belonged to the Hampshire Regiment.

About one month after the death of Private Dickson in action, members of his family had the following lines placed in a Londonderry newspaper:

'See the mighty host advancing,

Satan leading on!

Mighty men around us falling,

Courage almost gone.

Fierce and long the battle rages,

But our help is near;

Onward comes our great Commander,

Cheer, my comrades, cheer.

Though the warfare be weary, the trial be sore,

In the might of our God we will stand;

Oh! what joy to be crown'd and be pure evermore,

In the peace of our own Fatherland.'

The name of Thomas Dickson was read out at a memorial service held, in St Columb's (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, July 30, 1916, to pay homage to the memory of the men of the city of Derry, who had died during the second year of the First World War.

On the first anniversary of the death of Private Dickson, his father, mother, and brothers placed the following lines in a Derry newspaper:

'Far and oft our thoughts do wander

To the grave far, far away,

Where they laid our dearest son

Just one year ago to-day.'

Thomas, Isabella and Thomas Dickson, 33, Windmill Terrace, signed the 1912 Ulster Covenant pledging resistance to Home Rule for Ireland.