Friends of Hastings Cemetery
Samuel was born at Portsea, Hants.
His younger son, James William Dixon RN was Born at Walmer, Kent
1851 Census: The family were living at the Royal Naval hospital in Walmer. James was a year old and had 2 older sisters and a brother. His father is listed as a boatman & coastguard.
1871 Census and the family are at 4 Trinity Place Hastings and his father now aged 51 is a superannuated coastguard . James aged 18 is a clerk for the Royal Navy.
James was promoted to paymaster 14/06/1870
1881 Census: James aged 28 and unmarried is in Hampshire on the HMS Hector as Assistant Paymaster.
In 1888 James W Dixon is reported in HSLO as Paymaster in charge of the Naval Depot at Yokohama, it is also mentioned that "he was wounded at New Guinea in 1884 and received a pension for his wounds." His brothers, Captain John W. Dixon, and Captain George M Dixon are also mentioned.
Hastings News of 16th January 1891 reports:
“The Death of Mrs Dixon of 4 White Rock Road who died on Thursday. The deceased lady never recovered from the shock she sustained on receiving the news of the drowning of her son Paymaster Dixon in the disaster that befell the Serpent off the coast of Spain. Since then she had been confined to her room. Much sympathy is expressed for her husband and daughter”
HMS Serpent was a torpedo cruiser built in Plymouth and launched in 1887. It was wrecked in November 1890 during violent storms off the coast of Camarinas Galicia with the loss of 173 of her crew of 176 men. The cause was an error of judgement on the part of those responsible for the ship’s navigation. Still her officers and men obeyed orders and maintained good discipline to the end.
The three survivors Edwin Burton, Onesiphorous Luxon and Frederick Gould, were the only ones wearing lifejackets and the loss of the ship led to the compulsory issue of lifejackets to all Royal Navy personnel which remains the same today. -
In the 1891 census Samuel E Dixon, aged 75, his daughter, Hannah Page, born in Dartmouth, age 44 and grandson, Basil Thiele (recorded as Shiel in FreeBMD) aged 3, born in India, are living at 4 White Rock Road.
SAMUEL ELGAR DIXON Deceased.
ALL creditors and other persons having any claims or demands against the estate of Samuel Elgar Dixon late of No. 4 White Rock-
S. E. Dixon,
Died January 8th 1891
James W. Dixon
Son of the above
Lost in H.M.S. Serpent,
November 10th 1890:
In Loving Memory of
Samuel Elgar Dixon
Husband of the above
Who died January 6th 1898
‘He giveth his beloved sleep'