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Claudius Wilfred Dix 23rd County of London Yeomanry

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Claudius Wilfred Dix was born in May 1892 to George and Alice Dix of Gloster Road, Barnstaple. In this family photo he is shown, centre back, with his parents and sisters in 1902. He was working in London as an architect’s clerk and was newly married in early 1916 when he joined the County of London Yeomanry, aged 24, and was mobilised for the war in France. His regiment merged with the 6th Dragoons, known as the Inniskillings.

Claude suffered gas poisoning on the battlefield when his horse fell on him, pinning him to the ground. Although he was treated in hospital and returned to Pilton, his health was so compromised by the war injury that he died of pulmonary tuberculosis in October 1921 at the age of 29, only two years after his discharge from France. By that time Claudius was living with his Barnstaple-born wife, Marguerite Eva (née Ackland), and their young son Claude Eric, and working as a grocer at 11 Pilton Street. The young Claude, aged four when his father died, grew up to be a teacher and became the headmaster of Pilton Church of England Primary School and later of Forches Cross County Primary School.
Many thanks are due to Monica Jarman, Claudius’ grand-daughter, who provided much of this story, and to Brian Barrow, for his tremendous work in collecting information on all the men of Pilton who died in the Great War.

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