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Lionel Aglio Dibdin
1881-1933

Property Developer
Artist, Musician & Poet

Married Cecily Haycraft      1909

Lionel Aglio Dibdin

b. 14 Jun 1881, St. Stephen's Ave., 
Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith [36]

m. Cecily Grace Haycraft, 31 Aug 1909, 
Christchurch, Sutton, Surrey

d. 28 Mar 1933, Essen near Dixmude, Belgium

His father, William Joseph, 
died in 9 June 1925

His mother, Marian Nee Aglio, 
died in 17 Aug 1928

Cecily Grace Haycraft

b. 1882, Highbury, London

d. 28 Mar 1933, Eesen near Dismude, Belgium

 

Plane crash

Details of Estates      

Lionel Aglio Dibdin in World War 1

Excerpts of Letters From Lionel Aglio Dibdin to Cecily

Excerpts of WWI Letters from William Joseph Dibdin to Lionel Dibdin

Gallery of Paintings by Lionel Aglio Dibdin

Funeral Pictures

Lionel was born the oldest son of William Joseph Dibdin and Marian nee Aglio on the 14th June 1881.

William was the son of T.C.Dibdin, the painter, and Marian was the grandchild of Agostino Aglio, the painter, who immigrated in his early twenties from Italy. Marianís father, Augustine, was also a painter, photographer, architect and sculptor.

As yet details of Lionelís early life are not clear however there are examples of his architectural drawing exercises dated 1899 and 1900 when he was about 18 and 19 years old. It is interesting to note that these were found in a folder which included works by his great grandfather Agostino Aglio, the comparison showing the precision and artistry of Agostino.

It is interesting to note that Lionelís great grandfather, Agostino Aglio, was an immigrant from Italy and obviously a Roman Catholic. There is no record of the faith orientation of his son Augustine Aglio, and that of Marian Aglio, his daughter, who was to marry W.J.Dibdin and become Lionelís mother, but further research may give guidance on this matter. Lionel himself was a deeply religious man and committed to the Church of England.

As a young man Lionel was an articled pupil to Mr. Chambers Smith, surveyor. He later worked with his father, William Joseph Dibdin, on the bacteriological system of treating sewage and he developed and built many of the first biological slate bed sewage works.

In 1909, at the age of 28, he married Cecily Haycraft, born 1882, one of six of a significant local family living at Eaton Road, Sutton. At this time, The Dibdin family, those at home, had just moved from Mayfield, 112 Grange Rd, Sutton, to Purleybury near Purley Down, Croydon and Lionel and Cecily moved into a house, Avondale, in Grosvenor Avenue, Sutton which was to be their only house for life.

The Haycrafts and Didbins lived very close and there is reference in a letter from the oldest Haycraft boy Bernard that he had known Lionel since he was 15 years old. This means that maybe Lionel knew Cecily in their teens. See Article on the Haycraft - Dibdin Connection

Between 1909 and 1914 there is evidence that he spent much of his time on the Slate bed business although in 1912 during The National Strike, he seems to have been a member of the Special Constabulary, and became a leader of a volunteer police force was involved in the protection of the strike breakers at the London Docks, spending time on an accommodation boat called The Lady Jocelyn.
There is evidence from a number of Lionelís letters to his wife Cecily that they were in the early days of their marriage sometimes short of money.
See Excerpts of Letters From Lionel Aglio Dibdin to Cecily

There is a detailed drawing of his for a detached "lockup shop" in Haddon Road Sutton that he did in 1904 when he must have been about 23.

Lionel may have studied Architecture but it is believed that he failed his exam and so became an engineer and property developer.

In 1910, within a year of getting married Lionel and Cecily joined the Primrose League, a Conservative Club dedicated to the ideas of Disraeli.

Primrose League
In the UK, quasi-masonic society founded in 1883 to promote the Tory democracy of the Fourth Party among working class voters. It particularly opposed home rule for Ireland, and promoted the values of church, hierarchy, and empire. By 1910 it had attracted some 2 million members. It was supposedly named after Disraeli's favourite flower.

Their first son, Stanley was born in 1910 and their second son, Peter, in 1913.

During the first 5 years of their marriage, Lionel was out working and looking for customers for the Slate Bed Sewerage System. There are letters to his wife written in these early years of their marriage from Edinburgh, Chester, Yorkshire, Bristol, Dublin and Belfast and Norfolk. In fact is seems that they spent their honeymoon in Dublin so that he could manage the work at the Curragh an army camp 5 miles away.

They seemed to have started married life at Avondale, Grosvenor Road, Sutton and all letters to Cecily were sent to that address or to Medmenham, her parents address except one that went to the Sutton Gas Co. 21, High St, Sutton during the war.


The War Year 1914- 1918

Go to to Separate Article - Link to The Life of Lionel Aglio Dibdin during World War 1

After the war, during the early part of 1919 Lionel was still considered officially to be in the Royal Engineers (for the purposes of Rations) but in March and April was visiting the Maudsley Neurological Hospital and in April was discharged unfit for service.

In January 1920, Cecily and Lionelís third child, Joan, was born.

In 1920/24 there are interesting letters from a contact called "Northy" in the far East working for the Borneo Company Ltd.
Also there is a letter July 1918 that includes and Engineering CV for someone called KingsÖ..??. Lt. RE

The Borneo Company Ltd, 1850-1919 may be accurately described as a multinational company and to and theory suggests that it should have been extinct by the end of the Victorian era. Theorists concerned with the development of modern multinational enterprise suggest that it was new, more efficient forms of administration, allowing the internalizing of production units, and enabling foreign direct investment abroad to take place under conditions of reduced risk.

After the war, Lionel set up his office in Mulgrave Road, Sutton. South London and the county of Surrey seem to have been a main habitat of the Dibdin family and for that matter the Haycraft family.
Lionel worked as a land dealer and estate developer laying out estates in the Surrey and Sussex Counties. These estates were often based on large houses and he seriously took into account the environment and amenities. He was renowned for his sympathetic estate design, not destroying the existing properties on an estate and designing the road layout to fit the existing trees. These estates still exist and properties highly valued in 2007. He was a man of great foresight in his estate development.
There are records of 9 estates that Lionel Dibdinís Company purchased and developed in the South East, the last project being Camille Lacey (Leladene) which was developed by his company after his death, along the lines of his philosophy although the original house has recently be demolished.

Estates:

Broome Prk - South of Betchworth, Box Hill
Garrats Hall - Banstead Surrey
Harefield Estate - Middleton Nr Bognor Regis
Inner Wyke Estate - Felphan Sussex
Longcroft Estate - Banstead Sussex
Pippbrook Mill Estate - Dorking
Roundle Estate - Felpham Sussex
Stoneleigh Park Estate - Worchester Park Surrey
Camille Lacey - Leladene - West Humble, Box Hill

Link to the Full Details of the Estates

From the past there is reference to Sewerage Works in Dublin, Belfast, Holt and Netherne Mental Hospital near by.
As well as his work in property, he was an accomplished artist and musician and Lionel was well established and well respected as a leading member of the community in the Surrey area.
He was known as a jovial, good-humoured man, ever ready to do his part. Particularly was this noticeable at the meetings of the Wallingtron British Legion, of which he was a most enthusiastic and generous supporter.
There is an interesting pencil written letter from "Alfred" at Netherne Mental Hospital dated 1-5-1933 with a drawing and a poem with reference to Rex Dibdin.

Cecily was a gifted and locally known musician who had some job in the war with the Sutton Gas Company. I am sure that Cecily and Lionel will have known each other for some time before that got married, possibly from the ages of 14 and 15.

There is evidence that the Haycrafts and Dibdins had reason to know each otherís family for some time but this needs further research. See Article on the Haycraft - Dibdin Connection

Further insights into the nature of Lionel and the family relationships have being acquired from letters at the time of his father death in 1925.

Lionelís father William Joseph Dibdin, the Engineer, died in 1925. His letter to his sister Marian who was living with her husband, Paul Montford, and children in Australia gives some insight into the closeness that existed within the family.

Lionel was 44 years old at the time and sadly was to die with his wife in a plane crash within 8 years.

His strongly religious nature and principles come through in the letter as it does in the following letter to the local paper:

From these and other letters, it is clear that he was deeply religious and a committed member of the Church of England.

He was also a strong family man and as is mentioned elsewhere is seems that the Dibdin Family was very clannish and despite being spread across the world and throughout England they were totally supportive of each other.

In 1928 Lionelís mother died having been cared for by the family and a special nurse called Peggy who subsequently devoted her life to being Rex Dibdinís housekeeper.

Lionel and Cecily Dibdin died in 1933 in the worst plane crash this country had experienced.

They were returning from a short holiday just after he had bought the estate, Camilla Lacey, near Box Hill in Surrey.

He and Cecilyís last journey was on return from Switzerland and Italy where they had visited Lake Como and Cremona. It is assumed that Lionel was looking for information regarding his Great Grandfather, Agostino Aglio, who was born in Cremona and although he left Italy in his early twenties to come to England, he was recognised in the town as one of their artists.

Because the plane burnt out when it crashed, there is no record of their trip.

From The Scotsman, 29 Mar 1933

Two very well known and highly respected residents of Carshalton were amongst the victims who were burned to death when the air liner, "City of Liverpool." Crashed in flames at Dixmude, Belgium, on Tuesday Afternoon. They were Mr. and Mrs. Lionel A. Dibdin, of "Avondale," 79 Grosvenor Ave., Carshalton, Surrey.

Details about the plane crash in which Lionel and Cecily died

Fifteen persons, the entire complement of passengers and crew of the Imperial Airways air liner, City of Liverpool, perished when the machine crashed in flames yesterday afternoon at Eesen, near Dixmude, 70 miles west by north of Brussels.

1932 -- There is a copy of the words of a hymn that Lionel wrote on a journey.

A Song of Praise composed on a journey in the Sussex Lanes Ďtwixt St.Nicholas, Middleton and St. Maryís Church East Preston 8-9am Sunday 2nd Oct 1932

1.
Hail Smiling Morn, and greet the rising sun
For all the World awakens at the Dawn,
And works and rests and plays all day
Beneath his glowing ray.
2.
The misty dews of Autumn dispel them throí the air
And birds and beasts and flowers awaken with a stir
And each in its several manner
Becomes a worshipper.
3.
And man arising gaining strength, his duties to perform
Looks higher than the rising sun
Which he knows will set when day is done
His soul reaching out to Heaven.
4.
Singing praises to his Creator
and thanks for his gifts from above
With joy in his soulís communion
With the soul of his God above.
5.
His footpaths that lead to the Churches
Guide the steps of men towards Heaven
Each in his soul rejoicing
In the love that pervades his being.

Within 6 months of writing this hymn Lionel and his wife perished in an aeroplane crash leaving a son and daughter to the ravishes of two families and the public trusty system.

There is much to yet to find out about Lionel however it is sad to reflect on what is known so far, on the shortness of his life and the upheavals within it. The early years of his marriage were busy and I am sure in some respects difficult. The war and the death of his first son, Stanley, must have had a tremendous effect on the family and after the war he and Cecily only lived another 15 years. They were obviously devoted to each other and Lionel was becoming financially very successful.

It, in my view, is incorrect to try to write about this person in isolation from the rest of the family and friend around him as can be seen by the letters above that he received from family and so this short history needs to be seen in the context of what is known about the rest of his family in particular his father and great-grandfather and his siblings.

One person that is referred to is Mrs Midd (Middleton) who in effect was a significant part of the family although imported. She became part of William Josephís family as a companion to the children, however once she had grown up, married Norman and left the family, she lived in Victoria Street and acted as a port of call and haven for the next two generations of Dibdins.

Incomplete Ė Raoul Guise Oct 2008

 

 

Original Summary based on the research of Mary Bole.

Oldest Male of  ten children.


Died in the worst plane crash this country had experienced 1933.
Lived in South London, Surrey area which seems to be the main habitat of the Dibdin family.
Worked as a property developer laying out estates in the Surrey and Sussex Counties. These estates were often based on large houses and  seriously took into account the environment and amenities.
He married Cecily Haycraft and had three children, the first, Stanley, died when he was eight years old. 
The second, Peter, died in 1943, in the war.
Joan Mary, the youngest, .... born in 1920

Details about the plane crash in which Lionel and Cecily died

 

Details of Estates      

 

 

He developed and built many of the first biological slate bed sewerage works
Like so many of the family he was talented in many respects, Musician, Poet, Artist.
A poem found amongst family papers

 

As a young man he worked with his father, William Joseph Dibdin, working on the bacteriological system of treating sewage and was an articled pupil to Mr. Chambers Smith, surveyor. He developed and built many of the first biological slate bed sewage works. [37]

Before WWI, during a big strike at the Dockland, he became a leader of a volunteer police force, from which he eventually joined the Special Constabulary.

When the war broke out he joined the Army, and as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, saw service in France.

Post war Lionel activities were in the Sutton district, where he had an office in Mulgrave-road, from where he carried on his business as a land dealer and estate developer. He was a man of great foresight in his estate development. He went to great lengths to save tress, even if it meant plotting a road around a particularly beautiful tree.

He was known as a jovial, good-humored man, ever ready to do his part. Particularly was this noticeable at the meetings of the Wallingtron British Legion, of which he was a most enthusiastic and generous supporter. [38]

Cecily, maiden name Haycraft, was a gifted and locally known musician and Lionel was an established and well respected property developer working in the Surrey area. He was renowned for his sympathetic estate design, not destroying the existing properties on an estate and designing the road layout to fit the existing trees. These estates still exist and properties highly valued in 2007

Lionel and Cecily Dibdin were returning from a short holiday just after he had bought the estate, Camilla Lacey, near Box Hill in Surrey. [39]

Two very well known and highly respected residents of Carshalton were amongst the victims who were burned to death when the air liner, "City of Liverpool." Crashed in flames at Dixmude, Belgium, on Tuesday Afternoon. They were Mr. and Mrs. Lionel A. Dibdin, of "Avondale," 79 Grosvenor Ave., Carshalton, Surrey.

Fifteen persons, the entire complement of passengers and crew of the Imperial Airways air liner, City of Liverpool, perished when the machine crashed in flames yesterday afternoon at Eesen, near Dismude, 70 miles west by north of Brussels. [40]

  [41]

1933 Dibdin, Lionel Aglio of 18 Mulgrave-road, Sutton and of 79 Grosvenor-ave Carshalton both in Surrey d. 28 Mar 1933 at Essen near Dixmude, Belgium. Probate LONDON 19 May to Maurice Andrews, Accountant, Effects £25,892 18s 7d. Resworn £77,147 7s 9d.

1934 Dibdin, Cecily Grace of 79 Grosvenor-ave. Carshalton, Surry widow died 28 Mar 1933 at Essen near Dixmude Belgium. Admin LONDON 10 Oct to the Public Trustee and Former Grant P.R. 11 Oct 1933 cessate.

1933 Dibdin, Cecily Grace of 79 Grosvenor-ave, Carshalton, widow, died 28 Mar 1933. Admin LONDON 11 Oct to Public Trustee. Effects £10,288 4s 8d. Further grant 10 Oct 1934.

 

Monday 3 Apr 1933, pg.1

LIONEL AGLIO DIBDIN - On March 28 1933, near Dixmunde, Belgium, Lionel Aglio Dibdin, husband of Cecily Grace Dibdin, aged 51. Funeral service at Christ Church, Sutton, Surrey, to-morrow (Tuesday) at 11am.

Lionel was a lieutenant during WWI

 

Probably Lionel's old School

Cecily Dibdin nee Haycraft - bottom Left Hand Side

The RCM Piano Certificates and the adjacent diet sheet belonging to Cecily are included as they were found amongst Peter Dibdin's archives.

More will be documented about Cecily Dibdin nee Haycraft later. 

Children

Stanley Lionel Aglio Dibdin

Born in 1910 and died, aged 6, in 1917, Sutton, Surrey or Great London.

Peter Haycraft Dibdin

Peter was born in Sutton in 1913, and was 20 years old when his parents were killed in the plane crash. He was waiting for them at the airport.

During World War II he was in the Army, where on the 28th August 1943 he was killed in a gunnery accident.

Joan Mary Dibdin

Joan was born in 1920 in Sutton and aged 13 and away at school when her parents were killed.

Joan has the family musical and artistic streak and studied at the R.A.M. until called up in the war. During the war she worked as Red Cross nurse and then a motorbike dispatch rider in the army. She met her first husband in 1941/42 was married in 1942 and had her son Raoul on 11.3.1943. Her first husband, Anthony Benoit Guise, was drowned while going to the aid of another bather in Ceylon 11th Aug 1944, while on active service. Their son Raoul was then about 18 months old. [43]

Joan remarried on 26th July 1952, and with her second husband, Douglas Welburn, lived in Chiswick until 1973 when they moved to a smallholding farmhouse in Cumbria close to Hadrians Wall. Douglas Welburn died in a lorry accident on 2nd June 1981

Raoul married to Joanna Rowntree in York on 2ndJan 1965 and has two daughters Samantha born 28th Sept 1965 and Genevieve born 4th March 1968. Raoul qualified as an Engineer and worked for many years in the field until becoming a science and technology teacher in 1974. Joanna trained as a nurse and subsequently as a teacher. In 1977 the family moved to Otley in Yorkshire. [45]