A Collection of Awards to the Royal Air Force between the Wars (1919-1939) formed by Group Captain JE Barker

Date of Auction: 6th December 2017

Sold for £3,200

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,400

A scarce inter-war ‘Kurdistan’ D.F.M. pair awarded to Squadron Armourer Sergeant C. J. Dix, 6 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Distinguished Flying Medal, G.V.R. (31370. Cpl. (A/Sjt.) C. J. Dix. R.A.F.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Kurdistan (313701. Cpl. (A/Sgt) C. J. Dix. R.A.F.) mounted for wear, generally very fine or better (2) £2000-2400


Provenance: Christie’s, March 1985.

D.F.M. London Gazette 11 June 1924:

‘For distinguished service rendered during operations in Kurdistan between 15th February and 19th June, 1923.’

6 Squadron Operations Record Book additionally adds:

‘On February 14th [1925], Colonel Commandant H. Dobin, D.S.O., Commanding Mosul Garrison, paid a ceremonial visit to the Squadron and invested Sergt. Dix, Squadron Armourer Sergeant, with the Distinguished Flying Medal earned for gallant and distinguished service in the air whilst employed as an aerial gunner and observer during operations in Kurdistan between October, 1922, and August, 1923.’

Charles John Dix was born at Kenninghall, Norfolk, in May 1897. He joined the Royal Navy as Boy Second Class, in August 1913. By the age of 18, he had advanced to Ordinary Seaman Air Mechanic 2nd Class in the Royal Naval Air Service. He advanced to Leading Mechanic in November 1917, before transferring to the Royal Air Force in April of the following year.

Dix was posted as a Corporal to the Armourer School, Uxbridge, in February 1919. In mid-June he was posted to Halton Barracks, before on 4 July joining the North Russia Expeditionary Force and remaining on their strength until October. He remustered as a Fitter Armourer, and served in the UK before being tried by District Court Martial in April 1920. Dix was sentenced to 84 days detention and reduced to the rank of AC2. He was promoted to Corporal in May 1921, and posted to Iraq Group in October of the same year.

Dix served with 6 Squadron (Bristol F.2bs) in Iraq from November 1921. The Squadron, initially operating from Baghdad West, undertook patrol duties against Turkish-backed rebels in Northern Iraq and later policed large areas of desert to protect towns against marauding bands of raiders. Dix advanced to Acting Sergeant in April 1923, and was classed as an Aerial Gunner in June of the same year. During 6 Squadron’s operations in Kurdistan Dix was employed as the Squadron’s Armourer Sergeant and also called on to fly as an aerial gunner and observer.

Having returned to the UK in 1926, Dix was posted to the Armament and Gunnery School at Eastchurch and then on to the School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum. He was discharged in May 1927. In later life he was employed as a Research and Design Engineer by the Ministry of Supply. Dix died at the Royal National Hospital, Bournemouth, in July 1972.

14 D.F.M.s in total were awarded for operations in Kurdistan between 1920-1933, 6 of which were awarded in 1924.

Sold with file of copied research.