Monday, January 26, 2015 Oswald Dykes Riddell Dick (1888-1918)

Oswald Dykes Riddell Dick was born on 7 October 1888 at 12 Ferrie Street in the Maryhill area of Glasgow to James Dick, a blacksmith, and Helen Cowie, his housekeeper. Oswald was named after his uncle, Oswald Dykes Riddell, Helen Cowie's sister's husband. James Dick and Helen Cowie had nine children together but did not marry until 1903.

The family was listed at various addresses in the 1891 and 1901 census. On 21 Feb 1906 Oswald signed his attestation form for military service with the British Army. He was assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was living at 182 Church Street in Glasgow, was a blacksmith, had never served in the military before or been in prison. At the time of his enlistment he was described as being 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 101 pounds. He had a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. He also had a small round scar on the center of his back between his shoulders and a brown birthmark on his right thigh.

He entered the Army on 26 February 1906 as a private and served until 27 June 1908 when he was granted a free discharge. During his Army service he was present at annual training in 1906, 1907, and 1908.

Gairbraid Avenue in the Maryhill area of Glasgow where Oswald Dykes
Riddell lived in 1901; photograph courtesy of Glasgow Guide
Discussion Boards

On 31 August 1906 he married Elizabeth Scott, a 19-year-old dressmaker, according to the forms of the United Free Church. During their marriage, they had four children:
  • Janet Wilson Dick, born 13 September 1906 in Maryhill, Glasgow
  • James Dick, born 10 May 1908 in Maryhill, Glasgow
  • John Scott Dick, born 3 January 1910 in Maryhill, Glasgow
  • Oswald Dick, born 26 July 1912 in Maryhill, Glasgow
Oswald's wife, Elizabeth, died of pneumonia on 11 August 1914 at their home on 71 Balfour Street in Glasgow. She was 26 years old. His son, John Scott Dick, died of tuberculosis on 6 November 1914.

Three years later, Oswald married his first cousin, Henrietta Riddell, daughter of aunt and namesake uncle, Oswald Dykes and Annie (Cowie) Riddell. Sometime during World War I, Oswald was drafted into the British Army. He served with the 1/5 Battation of the Seaforth Highlanders. On 12 May 1915 the regiment was organized as part of the 152nd Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division.

He was killed 21 July in France and was buried at the Epernay French National Cemetery. He was later exhumed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and reburied at Terlincthun British Cemetery in Wimville, France.

Bewsher, F. W., The History of the 51st (Highland) Division, (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1921), pages 321-355
"Gairbraid Avenue, Maryhill, Glasgow," Glasgow Guide Discussion Boards
1891 Scotland Census, Parish: Barony; ED: 12; Page: 15; Line: 20; Roll: CSSCT1891_220
1901 Scotland Census, Parish: Maryhill; ED: 38; Page: 14; Line: 5; Roll: CSSCT1901_241
1911 Scotland Census, 02/04/1911 Dick, Oswald (Census 1911 644/14 021/00 027)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1888 Dick, Oswald Dykes Riddell (Statutory Births 622/01 0772)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1906 Dick, Oswald - Scott, Elizabeth (Statutory Marriages 622/01 0286)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1917 Dick, Oswald - Riddell, Henrietta (Statutory Marriages 644/10 0370)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1918 Dick, Oswald (Statutory Deaths 128/AF 0357
UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929, NAM Accession Number: 1991-02-333; Record Number Ranges: 166001-767500; Reference: 462
UK, British Military Service Records, Attestation for Militia or Reserve of the Militia, GBM_WO96_1285_203_001
UK, British Military Service Records, Description of Oswald Dick on Enlistment, GBM_WO96_1285_203_002
UK, British Military Service Records, Military History Sheet, GBM_WO96_1285_203_004
UK, British Military Service Records, Statement of the Services of No. 1485, Dick, O., GBM_WO96_1285_003
UK, Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), 1918 Dick, O
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, 1918 Dick, Oswald

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