Happy 100th Birthday Teddy!
We here at the NI War Memorial would like to wish a very Happy 100th Birthday to Edward ‘Teddy’ Dixon!
Teddy was interviewed by Dr Susan Kelly in 2017 as part of our ongoing oral history project “The War & Me”; Born in 1920 in New York (to Northern Irish parents) it wasn’t until 1925 that he and his family moved to Northern Ireland. When war broke out, Teddy was working in the Co-Op bakery and joined the ARP serving during all the blitzes on Belfast in 1941, indeed he and a colleague Eddie Fenton suffered a near-miss when checking on the Park Ranger in Ormeau Park during the Blitz when a landmine landed nearby but thankfully didn’t go off!
Teddy was newly married to Madge in 1942 when the Americans entered the war, receiving his draft card in 1944 he was afraid that he’d be drafted into the American Navy; this thought did not inspire joy as he’d never learned how to swim and so instead he volunteered for the American Army.
He regaled Susan with many stories about his time in the Army, recalling the night rabbits kept triggering mines nearby as they tried to sleep in Foxholes in France, interacting with Germans civilians as they pushed deeper into Germany as well as the sobering experience of liberating Dachau concentration camp. Although the war ended in 1945, Teddy didn’t get discharged until December 1947, and during this time he recalled spending Bastille Day 1946 dancing in the streets of Paris as well as working with the ‘Monuments Men’ to remove Göring’s art collection from a salt mine in Austria.
When he returned home he went back to the Co-op bakery and since his retirement has attended a number of reunions in the US, helped with a BBC documentary about Dachau liberation as well as attending special commemorative events across Northern Ireland.
If you want to hear more about Teddy’s story you can make an appointment to read and listen to his interview by getting in touch with the War Memorial or indeed if you or someone you know would want to be interviewed about their wartime memories then please get in touch on 07588634847 or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope Teddy has a fantastic 100th Birthday surrounded by friends and loved ones! Here’s a picture of Teddy attending our US75 Reception at Belfast Harbour Office in January 2017. Teddy is pictured with Flight Lieutenant Bill Eames BEM, Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and members of the Wartime Living History Association.
You can find out more about our Oral History Project here: