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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
CTRW The Papers of C. T. R. Wilson
CUNN The Papers of Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope
CVSS The Memoirs of the Reverend Evelyn Chavasse
CWLY The Papers of Lieutenant-General Sir John Cowley
DANL The Papers of Admiral Sir Charles Daniel
DCKN Papers of Air Marshal Sir William Dickson
DEAK The Papers of Sir William Deakin
DEKE The Papers of Denis Kelly
DENM The Papers of Captain Henry Denham
DENN The Papers of Alexander Guthrie Denniston
DGFT The Papers of Sir Dingle Foot
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Papers of Air Marshal Sir William Dickson

Title Papers of Air Marshal Sir William Dickson
Reference GBR/0014/DCKN
Creator Dickson, Sir William Forster, 1898-1987, Knight, Air Marshal
Covering Dates 1918–1979
Extent and Medium 17 archive boxes
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

Dickson was born in Northwood, Middlesex, in September 1898 and was educated at Haileybury College. In 1916 he joined the Royal Naval Air Service, serving on the carrier "HMS Furious" before joining the (now independent) RAF in 1918.

He started his RAF career working as a test pilot before serving in the Air Ministry between 1923 and 1926. Subsequently he joined No 56 (Fighter) squadron (1926-27), attended the Royal Air Force Staff College, Andover (1927-28), served in India (1929-30), commanded RAF Station Hawkinge and No 25 (Fighter) Squadron (1935-36), and then acted as an instructor at Directing Staff at Andover (1936-38).

In 1939 he attended the Imperial Defence College (1939), and was appointed Group Captain in 1940 and Air Commodore in 1941. He was Director of Plans, Air Ministry (1941-42), commanded Nos 9 and 10 Groups of Fighter Command (as an Air Vice Marshal) and No 83 Group (1943-44), and was then sent in 1944 to Italy to command the Desert Air Force. He returned in 1945 to serve as Assistant Chief of Air Staff.

After World War Two he was promoted Air Marshal and joined the Air Council (June 1946), serving as Commander-in-Chief Middle East (1948-50), Member for Supply and Organization, Air Council (1950-52), Chief of Air Staff (1953-56, becoming Marshal of the RAF in 1954), Chairman of the Chiefs of staff (1956-59), and Chief of the Defence Staff (1958-59).

He was appointed OBE in 1934, CB in 1942, CBE in 1945, KBE in 1946, KCB in 1952, and GCB in 1953. He died in September 1987.

Papers and photographs mainly relating to his service as Chief of Air Staff (1953-56), Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff (1956-59), and Chief of the Defence Staff (1958-59).

Presented to Churchill Archives Centre by Lady Dickson in January 1988.

The Papers are owned by Churchill College, Cambridge.

Access and Use

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, Papers of Air Marshal Sir William Dickson, DCKN

Further information

This finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, at the National Register of Archives in London and on the Janus website: http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk.

This collection level description was prepared by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre using a fuller original catalogue in January 2005. Additional information was obtained from the collection itself and from Dickson's entry in Who Was Who (A&C Black). The full catalogue was retroconverted in April 2009.

Index Terms
Air Force Personnel
Dickson, Sir William Forster (1898-1987) Knight, Air Marshal
Churchill/DCKN contains:
1 Early papers.
1 file.
2 Letters of congratulation to Dickson on his receipt of various honours.
3 files.
3 "Official correspondence".
30 files.
January 1956-July 1959
4 Papers relating to tours undertaken by Dickson.
14 files.
5 Briefings, lectures and speeches.
12 files.
6 Private correspondence.
4 files.
7 Pamphlets, souvenirs, leaflets etc.
12 files.
8 "Other interests".
6 files.
9 Photograph albums etc.
8 files.

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