Michael John Bostock kindly contacted the Virtual Mueum (Jun 2015) with the following information on the Dixon (and Mills) families:
"I was born Michael John Dixon and spent many clearly remembered days in Hungerford in the 1950’s. I have recently researched my family history. My research goes back to the late 18th. century when my ancestors farmed in Cumbria. They moved progressively via the industrialised midlands and were in the East End of London by the late 1800’s. The family were involved in the drapery business and my grandfather, John William Dixon and was listed as a draper.
In circa 1910 he gained the position of butler to the Ward family in Chilton Lodge where he worked until his sudden death from pneumonia in 1932. Throughout this time he lived in the ‘Butler’s House’ in Chilton Foliat. My photographs of him show him as a very smart dresser and I assume his knowledge of this helped him win the post. I have several artefacts of his time including a letter to him from Sandringham concerning Edward VII’s visit to Hungerford when he stayed at Chilton Lodge. My cousin has a large silver cup presented to him by the Ward’s upon completion of 25 years service.
He married twice, firstly to Ellen Louisa Mason in 1905 and had two children, Mary and Stella. Tragically, Ellen died in Hungerford, in 1909 of scarlet fever. John then married my grandmother, Emily Elizabeth Dixon in 1910 and had my father John Dixon in 1914.
My grandmother’s maiden name was Whitehead and she came from Birmingham in around 1909 to be the midwife for the Hungerford area. I have wondered whether my grandfather met Emily through the birth of Stella, perhaps delivered by Emily and whether that birth contributed to Ellen’s death? She retired around 1950 and I remember being told as a child that half the people I met in 1950’s Hungerford had been delivered by her! She finally lived much of the remainder of her life in The College in Froxfield.
As a child I remember that we were very friendly with the Mills family, butchers for the town. I have just discovered that there was a good reason for this as my grandmother’s sister Alice Beatrice Whitehead, followed in her big sister’s footsteps and came from Birmingham in 1915 to be the District Nurse. Following Alice Whitehead’s move to Hungerford, she married Alfred Mills in 1909 and had at least one son, R V Mills. So she became Alice Beatrice Mills, my Great Aunt.
I have visited Hungerford twice in the last year and have located the graves of my grandfather, grandmother and step grandmother in the graveyard at Chilton Foliat; interestingly my grandfather is lying at the feet of Ward family grave, so still serving in the next world?
This week I met for the first time in over 50 years, the granddaughter of Ellen Louisa Dixon, who now resides in South Africa and was able to take her to these places - we were lucky enough to be shown around the Butler’s House by the current owner."