Obituary: Dr Kenneth Dixon (1920 – 2015)

Published Saffron Walden Historical Journal No 29 (2015)

Dr Kenneth Frank Dixon, who died on 4th February 2015 aged 94, had a keen interest in local history and was the author of the informative history and guide to St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden. Ken did not have an easy start in life, as his father died when he was just 5 years old and he was sent to the Royal Russell School in Croydon, established to educate fatherless children whose fathers had been involved in the wholesale and drapery trade. He did well at school and excelled at several sports, leaving aged 17, with school certificate, to join the Westminster Bank.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, he enlisted in the Fleet Air Arm in 1940, serving as a pilot on one of the Arctic Convoys and then in the Far East on aircraft carriers. At the end of the war he returned to work with the bank, where he continued until his retirement, becoming an area director and the Senior Executive for European Affairs. At the same time he continued to educate himself, gaining a degree in Economics and later a PhD, with a dissertation on ‘The History of Early English Money Markets’.

On retirement in the mid-1980s Ken and his wife Brenda moved to Saffron Walden where they became regular members of St Mary’s Church. Ken’s interest in history led him to research and write many articles on aspects of the church’s architecture and its history for the Parish Magazine. In 2000 these were collected into a booklet, edited by Hamish Walker and illustrated by Peter Naylor, which was sold as part of the millennium restoration appeal and raised over £900 for the church. It is now out of print, but can be read on the Internet: http://www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/History.htm

In retirement, Ken worked as a Blue Badge Guide first in Cambridge, where his French and German language skills were useful, and later in Saffron Walden. He also served on the committees of the Friends of Audley End and the Friends of St Mary’s Church. He never lost his thirst for knowledge.

Kathryn Fiddock

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