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News > OH News > Happy 100th Birthday, Jack

Happy 100th Birthday, Jack

John Kenneth Dixon, OH 1934-39, celebrated his 100th birthday in June
29 Jun 2023
OH News
Jack on his birthday
Jack on his birthday

John Kenneth Dixon was born on 5 June 1923.  He was known as Jack, but at Hymers College, as was usual in those days, he was referred to as Dixon by school staff.  Jack had a younger brother Edward Stanley (OH 1937-1942), who was 3 years younger, known as Stan.  Their father, Edward Stanley Dixon, also known as Stan, was a football player at Hull City, after transferring from Blackburn Rovers, and had previously played at Newcastle United where the family originated.  After retirement, he was the manager of a cinema in Hull.

Jack recalls transferring from Sidmouth School to Hymers College after sitting the entrance exam when he was 11 years old and remained at Hymers until the war was declared 5 years later. After leaving school he was too young to join forces for the war effort but got a job, and after volunteering in the Sea Cadets he was able to join the Navy.  His brother, Stanley remained at Hymers College but was evacuated to Pocklington during the war. 

Jack remembers Mr Cavill, who was his Headteacher:

Pupils were weary of him and tried to avoid the 3 impositions which would result in the cane. 

There were though a number of teachers who had a positive influence on Jack during his time at Hymers. Mr Anderson, the French and English teacher in the Junior School. His wife, an Art teacher at the school was also nice.  Mr Bergwit who taught Latin. Mr Bunker taught geography and was very interesting. Mr Green taught mathematics but also coached the rugby team.  Jack also recalled how the porter was a really nice man.

Jack thought going to Hymers was a positive experience. He noted how there were very few female teachers and it was a very male-dominated environment and the Head Teacher was highly competitive. The Headboy was Gore, the son of a local butcher. The cloaks worn by teaching staff would waft down the corridors like bird wings. 

Jack was a keen rugby player and played in the Colts team.  He was always scrum half! They would travel to Scarborough College, Pocklington, and other schools by East Yorkshire buses.  He recalls his father encouraging the school to play football but to no avail!

Jack remembers his black and red hat, grey shorts with a white shirt, and tie.  It was compulsory to wear your hat all the time.

It was important to represent the school and always look smart and be polite.

Jack had a handful of friends. Hastie and his older brother were nice chaps who lived on Park Avenue. Unfortunately, the war disrupted his ability to maintain friendships. 

Jack visited Hymers College approximately 10 years ago on an open day when he was shown around by his great, great nephew and niece James and Tash Davis. Much of the main building hadn’t changed over the years and his visit brought back happy times before the war.

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