Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
Sub-Lieutenant Royal Navel Volunteer Reserve (RNVR)
Died 16 November 1944 off Cowes, Isle of Wight
John joined the Royal Navy in August 1942 and served as a rating both in shore establishments and on small craft. In May 1944 he was commissioned in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) as a Sub-Lieutenant. The RNVR was known as the 'Wavy Navy' because of the nature of the gold lace worn on the uniform sleeves to denote rank. John was posted for landing craft duty to HMS Copra, the Combined Operations accounting base. He served in Landing Craft Tank (LCT) HMLCT 854 as First Lieutenant and undertook many voyages to France in support of the Normandy Landings. He died on HMLCT 854 in an accident. John is commemorated at plot G, row 11, grave 5 Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Hampshire. He was awarded 1939-45 Star and the War Medal 1939-45:
John was the son of Harold Woolvine Dickins and Alice Robertson Dickins (nee Dunn). He was born on 3rd March 1924 in Chelsea. The family moved from Chelsea to Pinner when John was young, they had a big garden and all the family were keen gardeners. John was probably destined to go into the family business, H.C.Dickins Fine Art Publishers, after the war.
John had a younger brother Francis, always known as Bill, who was also at Gordonstoun, and a younger sister Jill. At school he was good at sport and played tennis and hockey.