Clifton House recently discovered a series of over 180 letters from Lt. Patrick Dixon to his parents and sister amongst other family papers. Thanks to our volunteer Jim Ferran, and Clare Tuohy who got in contact when the story broke, we have been able to piece together more of his life. Do you know of the family? Are you related? We would love to hear from you!
Patrick Kerr Dixon
After the war, Patrick Dixon returned to Trinity College Dublin graduating with a gold medal in natural sciences in 1922. He received his medical degree with honours in 1924 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1934.
In 1926, as a member of the Garenganze Evangelical Mission, he went out to the Belgian Congo. Patrick was stationed at Chibambo, Kasenga, on the boundary between Northern Rhodesia and the Congo. In 1926 Patrick married his first wife, Olive Arther, of Dublin, who died the following year at Chibambo. Patrick’s work on eye diseases in the Congo was recognised by the Belgian Government when he was decorated by the King. Patrick is recorded as a missionary of the Garenganze Evangelical Mission between 1931 and 1948.
On 2nd May 1934 Patrick married for the second. His wife was Isabella H. Russell, of Mbereshi Mission, Kawambwa. In January 1953, Patrick went to the Government African Hospital at Lusaka, where he combined the duties of surgical specialist with teaching at the African Medical School
Patrick died on 21st April 1955 aged 56 years old. Patrick had a daughter from his second marriage.
Margaret ‘Buttercup’ Frances Yeates Wynne née Dixon
In his letters home Patrick affectionately refers to his sister as ‘Buttercup’. Margaret also became a doctor and spent a lot of time travelling the world including Egypt where she met up with a family friend stationed at one of the hospitals in Cairo.
On 18th July 1945 she was married in Kilternan Parish Church, County Dublin, to Thomas W. Wynne, Lislea, Myrtlefield Park, Belfast of Thomas W. Wynne & Co who were textile manufacturers. C.W. Wynne was a partner in the business, potentially the brother of Thomas. One C.W. Wynne was associated with the Belfast Charitable Society. When Margaret’s mother was ill, she frequently spent long periods in Dublin caring for her. Patrick travelled back from Africa in 1948 due to his mother’s condition.
Margaret and Thomas subsequently settled at Linden Hill, Stewardstown Road, Derriaghy. Margaret had a keen interest in history and donated a document dated from 1331 to the Belfast Museum, now the Ulster Museum, in 1959. She continued to spend a lot of time travelling throughout Europe, alongside her role as a GP in the Derriaghy/ Dunmurry area. Her husband Thomas was also the Belfast representative for the Mission of Lepers.
If anyone reading this knows any additional information, please contact our Archive & Heritage Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9099 7022