Percy DIXON #30106, Q116658
By Marg Powel & Des Crump | 12 September 2017
Indigenous Australian, Percy Dixon, 9th Field Artillery Brigade
Percy Dixon was just 21 years old when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF in April 1916. Born in Springsure, Queensland to Richard and Jemima Dixon (nee Leopold), in 1895 he was working as a stockman at Goathlands Station, south of Springsure before he enlisted at Emerald.
Selected to join the Artillery he trained at the "Warren" Artillery Camp, Marrickville, NSW before embarking on board HMAT Benalla with the 9th Field Artillery Brigade.
During the voyage he was admitted to the ships' hospital complaining of pain in his back, neck and head. Diagnosed with Cerebro Spinal Meningitis he was evacuated from the ship when they reached South Africa to be treated at the Quarantine Hospital on Salisbury Island off Capetown.
As he recovered, he was transferred to the Caister Convalescent Home at Capetown, but was not considered fit enough to continue on active service. In April 1917 he was returned to Australia and discharged medically unfit. When his friend and employer John Cunningham Wells was notified of his illness he wrote:
"It is hard luck that our brave lads should be struck down with that horrid complaint before being given a chance to strike a blow in defence of their country."
Percy Dixon returned to north Queensland and became a taxi driver, a job he retained until - undeterred he again enlisted for service in the Second World War in 1942. He was appointed to 127 Australian General Transport Company which was based in Townsville. In May 1945 he was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a form of tuberculosis that effects the lungs and spine. Relieved of his duties he was transferred to 102 Military Hospital in Holland Park, Brisbane and later convalesced at 112 Military Hospital, Kangaroo Point.
Percy Dixon never recovered from this disease and died at Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital in July 1947. He was fondly remembered by citizens of Cairns, as a driver for 'Tropical Taxis' and by his brother Albert (Bertie) and family who lived in Oxley. His brother Bertie Dixon, also served with the 25th Infantry Battalion.
Read more ...
- Service record: DIXON, Percy
- Embarkation roll: 6th Reinf. 9th Field Artillery Brigade
- Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 23 December 1916
- Funeral notice: Courier Mail, 15 July 1947, p12
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.
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