b. 05/02/1821 Avranches, France. d. 07/01/1905 Pembury, Kent.
Matthew Charles Dixon (1821-1905) was born on the 5th February 1821 in Avranches, Brittany, France, the son of Colonel Matthew Charles Dixon, of the Royal Engineers, and the grandson of Sir Manley Dixon, KCB and Admiral of the Fleet. His mother was Emma Dalton. Following such illustrious military traditions, it was clear that Matthew would be destined for a career in the military. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and joined his father’s regiment, the Royal Artillery on 19th March 1839.
Matthew was promoted to Lieutenant in 1841, Captain in 1848 and by the end of the Crimean conflict, he was a Lieutenant Colonel. On 17th April 1855, Captain Dixon was in command of a battery at the siege of Sebastopol. At around 2pm, the battery took a direct hit from a shell which burst the magazine, destroyed the parapets, and killed or wounded 10 men. It also disabled five guns, and covered a sixth with earth. Captain Dixon reopened fire with the remaining gun and continued firing until sunset, despite the heavy concentration of fire from the enemy’s batteries and the ruined state of his own.
Due to his inspirational leadership, Captain Dixon was recommended for a high gallantry award, and on the 24th February 1857, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Besides the VC, he was also awarded the Legion of Honour by the French, the Crimean Medal with clasp, the 5th Class of the Order of Medjidie and the Turkish Medal. He was also given the brevets of Major and Lieutenant Colonel over the course of the campaign. He received his VC from Queen Victoria at the first investiture on 26th June 1857 at Hyde Park.
On 13th May 1862, he married Henrietta, the daughter of Admiral Charles John Bosanquet at St Andrew’s Church in Enfield, Middlesex. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to Colonel, and he would retire from the Royal Artillery on 19th March 1869, with the honorary rank of Major General. He died on Saturday 7th January 1905 at his home, Woodsgate, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, West London. His medals are a recent addition to the Ashcroft Collection in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: KENSAL GREEN CEMETERY, LONDON.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
SQUARE 103/2, PLOT 22977
Matthew Dixon's medals on display in Lord Ashcroft Gallery
Wandsworth Town Hall
RA Chapel, Woolwich