Date of birth: 1882
Date of death: 29.7.1917
Regiment: King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of Ephraim and Grace Dixon of Pleasant View, Leeds Road, Outwood
Rank: Lance Sergeant
Service number: 200517
Herbert Dixon enlisted in the army in September 1914, joining the 4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. After training and some coastal defence duties in England, the battalion, now known as the 1/4th KOYLI, was posted to France on the 13th April 1915.
On 28th April, the 1/4th K.O.Y.L.I. entered the line near Fleurbaix, in the Bois Grenier . The following month the 1st West Riding Brigade, was designated 148th Infantry Brigade, 49th (West Riding) Division.
On 9th July 1915, the 49th Division, moved into the sector between Ypres and Boesinghe, which was the left flank of the British Army line in Flanders. Here they were engaged in constructing and repairing trenches and strong points, which were constantly shelled by the enemy artillery. After the gas attack of 19th December 1915, the 1/4th KOYLI, in Brigade, was withdrawn from this sector
During the spring of 1916, the 1/4th KOYLI, was used by the 112th Railway Construction Company near Acheux. This was followed by training near Villers-Bocage for the forthcoming battle.
The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916, with the 49th (West Riding) Division in Reserve. However, the 1/4th and 1/5th KOYLI battalions were placed at the disposal of the 96th Infantry Brigade and used in a support capacity. On 21st July the 1/4th KOYLI rejoined the 148th Brigade, which was deployed in the Leipzig Salient. The 1/4th KOYLI remained within the Somme battlefield, until 23rd September, carrying out working party duties, when not in the front line. However, on 19th October 1916, the 1/4th KOYLI moved to the Hebuterne sector, where they remained for the rest of the year.
After a period in the trenches opposite Bailleuval, in March 1917, the 1/4th KOYLI, in Brigade, moved to the Neuve Chapelle sector. At this time the enemy was making its strategic withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. On 30th May, the enemy released gas along the sector occupied by the 148th Brigade, which heralded a period of intense fighting, lasting over three weeks.
In July 1917, the 49th Division took over the Nieuport sector on the Belgian coast, with the 1/4th and 1/5th KOYLI battalions going into the front line at Lombartsyde. Just before midnight on 21st July, both battalions suffered a heavy enemy bombardment of shells of all calibres and large quantity of mustard gas. The town of Nieuport was drenched in gas. Both battalions suffered greatly, with the 1/4th KOYLI, who were in support, incurring 441 casualties, most of whom were gassed. The immediate effect of the gas was irritation of the nose and throat, inflamed and painful eyes, followed by vomiting. The enemy repeated the attack on the evening of the 23rd July, resulting in a further 76 casualties. The 1/4th KOYLI was relieved on the 24th July and taken by bus to Ghyvelde.
Lance Sergeant Herbert Dixon was one of the casualties of the gas attacks at Nieuport. Suffering from gas-shell wounds, he was taken to hospital at St Omer, but died from his wounds on 29th July 1917. He was buried in the nearby Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery, which now contains 2874 Commonwealth burials from the First World War.
Herbert Dixon was born in 1882, the son of Ephraim and Grace Dixon, formerly Barnard, of Pleasant View, Leeds Road, Outwood. At the time of his birth, his father was employed as a blacksmith. After the death of his father, Ephraim Dixon, in 1890 the family moved to Stanley Lane End, but later returned to Leeds Road, Outwood. On the 1911 census, Herbert and his younger brother were living with their widowed mother at Granville Terrace, Lofthouse. At this time Herbert Dixon was employed as a coal miner at Parkhill Colliery.