Bid launched to trace family of Northampton’s ‘fighting chef’ war hero

The family of Frank (Butch) Dixon, a Northampton war hero who took out a Panzer tank on his own in 1944, is being sought by the Airborn Catering Corps Association. Picture shows a still from the film, Theirs is The Glory, in which Frank (pictured) played himself.

The family of Frank (Butch) Dixon, a Northampton war hero who took out a Panzer tank on his own in 1944, is being sought by the Airborn Catering Corps Association. Picture shows a still from the film, Theirs is The Glory, in which Frank (pictured) played himself.

  • Frank Dixon played himself in the film Theirs Is The Glory
  • The Military Medal was awarded to Frank Dixon
  • Frank Dixon was parachuted into Arnhem as part of Operation Market Garden
0
Have your say

The family of a Northampton war hero who starred as himself in a 1946 movie are being sought for a memorial service next year.

Frank (Butch) Dixon parachuted into Arnhem with the 21st Independent Parachute Company in 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden.

The Northampton man was a field cook with the catering corps, but when his regiment were besieged in an abandoned home in the Dutch town of Oosterbeck, the solider single handedly destroyed an oncoming German Panzer tank to force a retreat from the enemy.

Mr Dixon was awarded the Military Medal for the act, which saved many wounded infantryman from almost certain capture and later went on to star as himself in the movie recreation of Operation Market Garden, Theirs is the Glory.

He passed away in 1993, but the Army Catering Corps Association has now launched a bid to trace the hero’s surviving family in order to invite them to its 75th anniversary dinner and service next year.

Chairman of the association, Chip Walker, said: “I would love to hear from them, the association is very much looking forward to meeting them and inviting them to a service next year where we will be honouring Frank and many more like him.”

Mr Walker believes Frank may have originated from Glasgow before settling in Northampton following the end of World War Two.

He appears in the Theirs is the Glory around 46 minutes into the film, where he is told by his commanding officer to head round the back of the besieged building and “have a go” at an oncoming Panzer with a PIAT, a shoulder mounted anti-tank gun.

After destroying the tank “Butch” returns to tell the officer: “Got him sir.

“There’s no future for me in cooking now sir.”

Mr Walker said records suggest Frank was an extraordinary soldier.

He said: “People like Frank are one in a million type of soldier.

“A quote from one of the paratroopers that knew Frank said he was pretty mean with a PIAT, and he could cook too.

“He was, if you want, the fighting chef.”

If you are a relation of Frank’s or know how to get in touch with any of his surviving family members, email Mr Walker on chip.walker@sky.com, or if you would prefer, get in touch with the Chron via editor@northantsnews.co.uk, or by calling (Northampton) 467039.