Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Annoucements > DICK, John Vivian Richard (Dicky)

DICK, John Vivian Richard (Dicky)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories and celebrate the life of Richard Dick, who we sadly lost in 2019.
16 Jun 2020
DICK, John Vivian Richard (Dicky)
Died on 31 January 2019, aged 94.

He and his elder brother Michael Dick went to prep school, Yardley Court and then onto Tonbridge School in 1937. Dicky and Michael were day boys in Welldon House whose housemaster was Mr Bathurst, affectionately known as ‘Bathy’. In the sporting area Dicky was a rower and earned his Number 1 Skulls cap. In October 1942 he left Tonbridge to study for a Mechanical Sciences Tripos at Cambridge, but he quickly joined the University Air Squadron and in March 1943 he left University to join the Royal Air Force.

Dicky had an adventurous war career. After qualifying as a fighter pilot in the USA he returned to the UK, where he was trained to fly both Dakotas and Hadrian gliders. Initially he was posted to the Far East where he flew missions landing Dakotas on rough landing strips in support of the 14th Army alongside the Chindits, the special operations unit fighting the Japanese in Burma. Whilst flying a glider with 671 Squadron in India he was involved in a particularly dangerous incident when the towing aircraft for his heavily loaded glider became enveloped in cumulous cloud causing major turbulence. The heavy crates broke loose and crashed through the side of the glider, so Dicky had to cut free from the towing aircraft and with great skill landed his badly damaged craft into no man’s land from where he was later rescued.

After his demob an influential relative had suggested an opening for him in the catering trade but Dicky’s experience of life in a hotel kitchen proved so traumatic, scraping asparagus in the midst of a warring kitchen staff, that he left after a single day to find refuge in his family’s firm, the Delta Metal Company which had been founded in 1883 by his grandfather, George Alexander Dick, and which specialised in the process of non-ferrous metal extrusion.

His uncle Alex offered Dicky a job in Birmingham to learn the nuts and bolts of the engineering trade.   Dicky’s engaging line of approach and the easy warmth and affability of his personality were the natural attributes of a good salesman and he was soon appointed the Company’s sales rep in Greenwich and given his first car, a Standard 8.

In 1951 Dicky married his second cousin, a young Belgian, Nicole Wynen, and began a union which was to last for sixty-seven years. The birth of their first son, Robert, in 1952 was followed by the arrival of Patrick, Colette and Annick.  

In 1962, Dicky was appointed as Sales Director of James Booth Aluminium, a newly acquired subsidiary of Delta, based in Birmingham, later to be taken over by a large American corporation.   He remained as Sales Director for the combined company for the next thirty years, supplying aluminium plate to the aerospace and defence industries on both sides of the Atlantic.

He never lost his interest in flying and in retirement he was a founder member of a team of veterans dedicated to the preservation of a Vulcan bomber in Warwickshire.

Throughout his life Dick retained a passionate interest in cars and took part in numerous car rallies and car races at Brand’s Hatch, Goodwood and other racing tracks, where he enjoyed racing both Aston Martins and D type Jaguars. 

He is survived by his sons and daughters and by his brother Brigadier Chris Dick.

(WH 37-42)

Share Your Story

Do you have a story to share?
Contact a member of our team.

Click here to email us
with your idea

Or, call us on:
+44 (0) 1732 304253



Tonbridge Society Office

Email us

 +44 (0) 1732 304253

Charity Registration Number 1099162

This website is powered by