Mary Alice Blagrove
Distinguished Service OrderMember of the Order of the British EmpireDistinguished Service CrossMentioned in Despatches (x 4)
Mark Dickens, Marion Dickens
Henry Charles Dickens, Cedric Dickens, Philip Charles Dickens
Gerald Charles Dickens, Kathlen Pearl Birch
Night Action: MTB Flotil, SAS: Secret War in South, SAS: Secret War in South, Narvik: Battles in the Fjords, Leading in DisOrienting Times: N
Harry Lloyd, Monica Dickens, Henry Fielding Dickens
May 25, 1987 (aged 70), Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Life and career
The son of Admiral Sir Gerald Charles Dickens and Kathlen Pearl Birch, Peter Dickens was born in Fulham in London in 1917. Dickens joined the Royal Navy as a Naval Cadet in September 1934, being promoted to midshipman in May 1935 when he was serving aboard HMS Nelson in the Home Fleet. Dickens was Acting sub-lieutenant in September 1937 and Sub-Lieutenant in May 1938 while serving aboard the Royal Yacht HMY Victoria and Albert III in Portsmouth. In 1940 he took part in the evacuation from Dunkirk.
From June 1942 Dickens was the Commanding Officer of HM MTB 234 and the Senior Officer of 21st MTB Flotilla when, in August 1942, he was awarded the MBE for saving his mined ship through damage control, and the Distinguished Service Cross in December 1942 for attacks on enemy shipping. In July 1943 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for skillful and daring attacks "in enemy coastal waters".
Dickens was the Commanding Officer of HMS Blencathra from April 1944 to July 1945 and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 20 March 1945 with seniority from 1 December 1944. He then transferred to the Staff of RN College, Eaton and later RN College, Dartmouth, where he served from July 1945 to 1948. Promotion to Commander came in June 1947 and he served on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station, until April 1952 when he was appointed Commanding Officer of HMS Gabbard, and from 1953 to April 1954 of HMS Scorpion. From April 1955 to January 1956 he was based at HMS President, a shore establishment, and was promoted to Captain in December 1955 before being appointed Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff (Plans), Allied Forces Mediterranean (NATO) at Malta from October 1956 to January 1957.
He was a Staff Officer for NATO based at İzmir from 1958 to 1959, and from 1959 to 1961 was the Commanding Officer of HMS Delight. Dickens was Captain of Chatham Dockyard and Queen's Harbour Master and Chief Staff Officer to Rear Admiral Beloe between March 1961 to February 1964, and served as Naval Aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II from July 1964 to January 1965.
Peter Dickens was the President of the Dickens Fellowship, a worldwide association of people who share an interest in the life and works of Charles Dickens, and was President of the Coastal Forces Association. With his wife, Mary Alice Blagrove (the daughter of Rear-Admiral Henry Blagrove), he is the grandfather of the actor Harry Lloyd and uncle to the actor/performer Gerald Charles Dickens.
Dickens died in 1987 at Tunbridge Wells in Kent.