Leonard Frederick Gainsford Dixon was brought up in Chelmsford. He attended King's Road School and the Mid Essex Technical College, before working at Hoffmann's bearings factory. He joined the Fleet Air Arm and was about to enter the Royal Navy College when he became ill, eventually dying in Broomfield Hospital in January 1944. His home was in Nelson Road.
Leonard was born in 1922 in the Chelmsford registration district, the younger son of Gainsford Daley Dixon (1888-1963) and Eva Louisa Dixon (nee Richards) (1882-1972). Leonard's parents had married on 23rd October 1910 at St. Mark's Church, Regent's Park, London. At that time his father was a 22 year-old clothier living at 15 Duke Street in Chelmsford. His mother was six years older and lived at 151 Gloucester Road, Regent's Park.
Leonard's siblings were Neville Gainsford Dixon (1912-1985), Douglas Gainsford Dixon (1914-1938), and Flora J. Dixon (1916-1916). Their grandfather, Alderman Gainsford Daley Dixon (1888-1963), was a Mayor of Chelmsford.
Leonard's uncle, Leonard Frederick Dixon, was killed during the First World War, and is commemorated by Chelmsford's Civic Centre War Memorial. In 1918 Leonard's family was living at 25 Nelson Road, Chelmsford.
Leonard was educated at King's Road School and Mid Essex Technical College in Chelmsford. He was a King's Scout and became a Rover.
Leonard Frederick Gainsford DIXON, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy
Died in Broomfield Hospital, Essex
In 1938 Leonard's elder brother died. A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"Young Man's Death. The death took place at Ilford Isolation Sanatorium on Sunday of Mr. Douglas Gainsford Dixon, second son of Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Dixon, of 25 Nelson Road, and grandson of the late Aid. J. G. Dixon. Mr. Dixon, who was 23, was educated at the King Edward VI. School, Chelmsford, and on leaving he went to Leeds in the wholesale clothing trade. He was taken ill in March, 1937, and returned home. Two months later he was taken to the Sanatorium. He was a cheery and very likeable young man, and a doctor at the Sanatorium described him as the best patient he had ever had. The cremation will be on Saturday at Ilford Crematorium at 10.30 a.m. The deceased's elder brother will not be able to attend this, as he is serving in H.M.S. Sussex."
Leonard worked at Chelmsford's ball-bearings factory, Hoffmann's, prior to joining the Fleet Air Arm in 1941. He later transferred to the Royal Navy, and was about to enter the Royal Naval College when he was overcome by illness and died at Broomfield Hospital near Chelmsford on 29th January 1944. He was 21 years old.
At the time of his death his parents were still living at 25 Nelson Road.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission does not commemorate Leonard, but he was commemorated on the war memorial at Baddow Road Congregational Church in Chelmsford (now demolished).