Wellington R1646 - Glen Clunie

Profiles of the crew onboard

Sergeant Beaumont Churchill Dickson, RAAF

Sergeant Beaumont Dickson

Beaumont Churchill Dickson was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia on August 24th 1919, son of Mervyn Dickson, a commercial traveller, and Esther Elizabeth Dickson. The family lived in Lanigan Street, Rockhampton.

From 1926-1934, Beaumont was a pupil at Leichhardt Ward Boys School in Rockhampton where he was the Senior Swimming Champion. On leaving school, he worked as a Junior Clerk at Australian Estates in Rockhampton and attended night school at the Technical College to study typing, accounts and bookeeping.

Beaumont joined the RAAF at No 3b Mobile Recruiting Centre in Rockhampton and on October 11th 1940 was given the service number 404634 and the rank of Aircraftman 2 (AC2). Three days later he commenced his training at No 2 Initial Training School (2 ITS), Bradfield Park on Sydney's north shore.

On November 24th 1940 Beaumont embarked for Canada onboard the ship Aorangi, stopping fleetingly on December 5th in Aukland where RNZAF airmen joined the ship. The onward journey to Canada routed them via the Fiji Islands and Hawaii. Late evening on December 23rd Aorangi arrived in Vancouver, Canada.

Christmas Eve 1940 saw Beaumont posted to No 2 Wireless Training School (2 WTS), Calgary where he trained for the next five months. Thereafter, he attended No 2 Bombing and Gunnery School (2 BAGS) at Mossbank, Sask, and was awarded his Air Gunners Badge on June 23rd 1941. On attaining his Air Gunners Badge he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Beaumont embarked for the UK on July 6th 1941, arriving some 23 days later. All arrivals from Canada at this time were initially posted to 3 Personnel Reception Centre (3 PRC) at Bournemouth where their documentation etc was checked and processed and they were then posted to the next stage of their training. For Beaumont this was to 2 Signals School (2 SS) at Yatesbury for four weeks of signals training before being posted to 20 Operational Training Unit (20 OTU) at Lossiemouth in Scotland. OTU was where all the aircrew disciplines came together and were trained to work as bomber crews in preparation for operational duties.

It was during a training flight from 20 OTU that Beaumont lost his life on January 19th 1942. He was buried in grave 16 at Dyce Old Churchyard on March 2nd, the following words are enscribed on his headstone "enshrined in noble memory for evermore"

The other Australian airman who died onboard Wellington R1646 was Alistair Milliken. Alistair joined the RAAF on the same day and at the same place as Beaumont Dickson. The service numbers allocated to the two men were two digits apart, so it's possible that the two men were friends who had decided to join the RAAF together. They attended the same training courses together in Australia, sailed together to Canada and attended the same courses together in Canada. Beaumont embarked for the UK slightly before Alistair, possibly because Alistair got married the day after completion at 2 BAGS and may have been permitted some leave in Canada with his new wife before embarking for the UK. However, after arriving in the UK, Alistair attended the same signals school in Yatesbury as Beaumont and they both arrived together at 20 OTU in Lossiemouth.

Old Kirk at Dyce Churchyard
Grave of B C Dickson at Dyce
Commonwealth War Graves cross at Dyce Churchyard

Despite extensive research and enquiries relatives of Beaumont Dickson have not yet been located to inform them of the memorial unveiled in honour of the crew of Wellington R1646. If you are a relative, or you know the whereabout of any relatives of Sgt Beaumont Churchill Dickson, please contact me archieraf@yahoo.co.uk

My thanks to Lorraine Luke and the relatives of Sgt Milliken for their assistance in trying to trace the relatives of Beaumont Dickson in Australia. The image of Sgt Dickson was supplied with thanks to Christine Townsend, niece of Sgt Riley.

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