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 MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN BAILLIE BALLANTYNE DICKSON, C. B

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PostSubject: MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN BAILLIE BALLANTYNE DICKSON, C. B   Sun 11 Jan 2015 - 22:23

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MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN BAILLIE BALLANTYNE DICKSON, C. B., may fairly be pronounced one of the most popular General Officers on the list of the British Cavalry. Born October 24th, 1842, he was originally in the Indian Service. He received his Commission as Cornet in the Bengal Cavalry shortly before the final disappearance of "John Company," on January 20th, 1860, becoming Lieutenant January 1st, 1862, Brevet-Captain January 20th, 1872, and Captain December 31st, 1872, when he was transferred to the Indian Staff Corps, with which he remained until October 23rd, 1875. He then joined the 1st (Royal) Dragoons. He had been unlucky enough not to gain any war experience in India, and he was only too ready therefore, in the summer of 1879, to proceed to South Africa on Special Service in connection with the Zulu War. Arriving at the Front he did duty with the Native Carrier Corps, and so gained the Medal with Clasp. On return to England he resumed duty with his regiment, in which he became Major on October 1st, 1881.
   When in 1884 it was decided to make up a Camel Corps for service in the Nile Campaign, Major Dickson volunteered to go out in command of the detachment furnished by the Royal Dragoons. This he was allowed to do, and he served with great credit throughout the Campaign - from September 1884, to March 1885, as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General - being present at the battle of Abu Klea, when Major-General Sir Herbert Stewart received his death wound. He himself was severely wounded. For his services he received the War Medal with Two Clasps, and the Khedive's Star, and on April 28th, 1885, was specially promoted to the Second Lieut. -Colonelcy of the 5th Dragoon' Guards, which regiment he commanded from April 25th, 1887, to April 25th, 1893, and brought to an admirable degree of efficiency. For two years he was unemployed, but on March 10th, 1893, he was induced to accept command of the 49th Regimental District at Reading. This position he exchanged on May 1st, 1897, for the more congenial one of Colonel on the Staff commanding the Cavalry Brigade at Colchester.
   On April 12th, 1899, he was appointed to the command of the troops in the Straits Settlements with the temporary rank of Major General, and at the beginning of the year was selected to proceed to the Cape to take over command of a reinforcing Brigade of Cavalry, which was sent out from England. General Dickson is highly thought of at headquarters. This is proved by the fact that his appointment to the command at Singapore was due largely to a desire that so able a cavalry officer should not be removed from the Active List under the operations of the age rule, as he would have been in October of last year had he not been promoted to Major-General's rank He has devoted much thought to the subject of Cavalry tactics, and, as the late Lieut. -General Keith Fraser-for many years Inspector-General of Cavalry -- used to say of him, " he could be trusted anywhere with a cavalry force, for it would not be his fault if those under him did not ride to glory." And General Fraser had many opportunities of forming an unbiased opinion. It was during the celebrated Berkshire Cavalry Manoeuvres that the qualities of leadership of General Dickson were first put to a practical test, and the name that he earned for himself then he has more than upheld since.
Source ‘Celebrities of the Army’
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MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN BAILLIE BALLANTYNE DICKSON, C. B
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