Brighton and Hove people: D

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DACRES, Field Marshall Sir Richard James GCB
Field Marshall Sir Richard DacresSon of Vice-admiral Sir Richard Dacres. Joined the Royal Artillery as a second lieutenant in 1817, tranferred to the Royal Horse Artillery in 1843, promoted to major in 1851 and lieutenant-colonel in 1852, commanding forces during the Crimean War at the battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman and through the siege of Sevastopol and took command of all artillery in Crimea for the final stages of the war. He retired from active service in 1877 and was appointed Constable of the Tower in 1881, becoming Master Gunner of England the following year. He was granted the rank of field marshall five months before his death, at which time he was president of the Hove Club. 28 Palmeira Square [residence 1886, deathplace]
DACRES, Admiral Sir Sidney Colpoys GCB
Admiral Sir Sidney DacresBrother of Field Marshall Sir Richard Dacres. Joined the Royal Navy in 1817, commissioned as lieutenant in 1827. After action in the bombardment of Sevastopol in the Crimean War, he was appointed captain-superiuntendant of Haslar Hospital and the Royal Clarence (Gosport) Victualling Yard. He became a flag officer as captain of the fleet in the Mediterranean and in 1863 was commander-in-chief in the Channel until promotion to vice-admiral in 1865. He became First Sea Lord between December 1868 and November 1872, becoming a full admiral in 1870. 47 Brunswick Square [residence 1884, deathplace]
D'AGUILAR, Major-General Sir George Charles
General Sir George D'AguilarJoined the army in 1799, was in India until 1808 and served 26 years on the general staff. In 1815 he was with Wellington's army for the capture of Paris. He wrote the army textbook Regulations and Punlishments of the British Army. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Hong Kong 1843-1848, where a street and Cape D'Aguilar are named in his honour, as are the town of D'Aguilar and D'Aguilar National Park in Queensland, Australia. 30 Brunswick Square [residence 1852-1855]
DALRYMPLE, Major-General Sir Adolphus John bt
General Sir A J DalrympleArmy officer and MP for Brighton 1837-1841 (contested the seat unsuccessfully in 1832, 1835 and 1841). He was MP for three other constituencies at different times. 5 Brunswick Terrace
DALTON, Sam (William John)
Eccentric character comedian, singer and composer of humorous songs. Little is known about him, other than appearances on the variety stage from 1889 to 1910. In 1901, when briefly the landlord of the King's Head in West Street, he appeared in six films by James Williamson. In November 1901 he was in the variety bill at the Empire Theatre of Varieties, New Road, with Lilian Travellie performing Fun in a Garden. He was living in Rotherham, Yorkshire in 1908. King's Head, 9 West Street [residence 1900]
DARE, Phyllis
Phyllis DareActress, born Phyllis Constance Haddie Dones in Chelsea, she first appeared on stage at the age of nine. She made her name in musicals, in starring roles from 1909. Her last role was in Ivor Novello's King's Rhapsody, appearing with her sister Zena, in a two-year run from 1949. She retired to Brighton in 1951. Flat 19, Mitre House, 149 Western Road [residence 1949-1965]
68 Sedgwick Road (now Bramble Way), Hollingbury [residence 1966-c1975]
Alfred DarlingSon of a 'master engineer and machinist' with a substantial business when Alfred was a boy (he employed 28 men and boys in 1871). Alfred initially worked for his father in Lambeth. He married in 1882. After the birth of their first two children (they went on to have six more), the family moved to Brighton in 1887/88 but Alfred remained in lodgings in London, working as an engine fitter. He began his own engineering business at his home, 47 Chester Terrace, Brighton in 1894, but by mid 1896 had moved into a workshop at 25 Ditchling Rise. He later moved the family home to 83 Ditchling Rise.
      On 18 September 1896 he was commissioned to carry out repairs to a film camera for Esmé Collings. Among early clients were G A Smith and James Williamson. The latter ascribed the early start of film-making in the area and his own beginnings to the contribution made by Darling.
      With Alfred Wrench he designed a 35mm camera, which they patented in 1897. For Charles Urban in 1899, he designed and built the Biokam camera for amateur and semi-professional use, which used 17.5mm film. As well as cameras and projectors, his company made film printers, perforators, winders and tripods. In 1901, when he was still listed in the census as a railway engine fitter, he was commissioned by Urban to make a prototype three-colour camera to a design by Edward Turner, whose work—the basis of G A Smith's work that led to Kinemacolor—was backed by Urban.
      When Charles Urban Trading Company was set up in 1903, Darling was an investor and, for a time, a director of the company. His company moved from Ditchling Rise to South Street, Preston in the north of Brighton in 1926. Alfred Darling left nearly £26,000 and is buried in Hove cemetery.
47 Chester Terrace
25 Ditchling Rise
83 Ditchling Rise
DARLING, General Sir Ralph
Alfred DarlingGovernor of New South Wales 1824-1831. Highly unpopular during his tenure, the Darling River and Darling Downs are named after him, the Sydney suburbs of Darling Point and Darlinghurst after his wife. He retired to and died in Brighton.
Image: National Portrait Gallery
39 Brunswick Square [residence c1851-c1856]
DAVIDSON, W Lascelles
Born into a military family (his father was a lieutenant-colonel on the Madras staff), Captain Davidson of the 6th Sussex King’s Militia (late of the 4th Battalion The King’s (liverpool) Regiment) was an experimenter in colour photography and cinematography. His first patent, in 1898, was for a three-lens camera, each lens with a filter of one of the primary colours. The following year he introduced a practical colour photography system. At the time of the 1901 census he and his wife, recently returned from Ireland, where their infant son was born, were occupying three rooms in the lodging house of Mrs Elizabeth Groves at 8 White Rock Road, Southwick. In subsequent years, now with four children, they lived in Southview road, Southwick.
      In May 1901 Davidson bought a Kammatograph camera/projector—images were recorded in a spiral on a glass disc—which he used in colour cinematography experiments in collaboration with Dr Benjamin Jumeaux, who lived around the corner. They patented a two-colour system in 1903, using light-splitting prisms in the camera and projector. Their test films were processed by G A Smith in his plant at St Ann’s Well Gardens but were not considered to be of acceptable quality. The ‘laboratory for natural colour photography’ in the name of Davidson and Jumeaux was at 20 Middle Street, Brighton, where Davidson was also listed as an occupant in directories between 1904 and 1907 (in 1905 the listing is for ‘Davidson’s Patents’, which merited its own listing).
      In 1906 he and William Friese Greene demonstrated a two-colour film system at the Royal Institution and later that year at the Photographic Convention of Great Britain in Southampton. However, Davidson seems to have abandoned the work, on which he spent £3,000, following the patenting by Smith and Charles Urban of the two-colour system that became known as Kinemacolor.
20 Middle Street [workshop c1904-1905]
DAVIES, William Edmund
Bookmaker, nicknamed 'The Leviathan'. Born in London, where he worked for the building firm Cubitt & Co. During a working visit to Newmarket he started taking bets. His clientele grew on the basis of his readiness to pay out whatever the size of the stake and the odds. He retired in 1857 and moved into the King and Queen Hotel in Marlborough Place, Brighton before buying his final home. Described in the 1861 census as 'holder of railway shares', he left £60,000 of these shares to Brighton Corporation, of which £50,000 was used to buy Preston Park in 1883. 18 Gloucester Place [residence 1858-1879, deathplace]
Preston Park
D'AVIGDOR-GOLDSMID, Sir Osmond E 4th bt
See Goldsmid. Osmond Road
Davigdor Road
de CHASSIRON, Alice Margueretta Crichton
(née Vincent). Her first husband was William John Crichton; her second, married in 1910, was Baron Guy Marie de Chassiron (1864-1932). She was the founder of the Bluebell Time Charity. She left £31,271 2s 2d. Pier Lodge, 94 King's Road [residence 1930-1936]
19 Brunswick Terrace [residence 1936-1938]
DELVE, Sir Frederick ('Freddy') William Delve
Brighton-born son of a master tailor who joined the Royal Navy on his 16th birthday, two weeks before the end of World War I, as a wireless telegraphist. In 1922 he joined the Brighton Fire Brigade, becoming the youngest Second Officer in the country in 1929 at the age of 27. He was appointed chief officer of Croydon Fire Brigade in 1934, introducing radio communications between appliances and headquarters. He supervised the deployment at the fire that destroyed Crystal Palace in 1936. He was Deputy Inspector-in-Chief of Fire Services during World War II and Chief Officer of the London Fire Brigade from 1948, the first to be knighted in office in 1962, the year of his retirement. He died in Hove. 2 Baker Street [childhood home]
DE ROSAZ, Chevalier François
Doctor and financier, founded the Female Orphan Asylum in Western Road in 1822, which moved to Gloucester Street and then in 1853 to a new building in Eastern Road (now the Latilla Building of the Royal Sussex County Hospital). 51 Upper Bedford Place
1 Arundel Terrace
Rosaz House, Bristol Gate
DEVIS, Arthur
Arthur DevisArtist, born in Preston, Lancashire, taught by Peter Tillemans, the Flemish painter. He came to concentrate on prtrait painting, first of pro-Jacobite Lancashire families, then established a studio in London in 1745. He was president of the new Free Society of Artists but was never made a Royal Academician. Only six of his 22 children survived, two of them becoming painters. He sold all his remaining paintings in 1783 and retired to Brighton, where he died.
Image: Self-portrait [Bridgeman Art Library]
DEVONSHIRE, Duke of See William George Spencer Cavendish.
DEWÉ, William Tombs JP
Solicitor. Born in Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire, son of a farmer, he was a farmer of 700 acres at Sapperton, Gloucester by 1853 and retained the farm throughout his life. He was a Brighton councillor for St Nicholas ward -1891, Montpelier ward bef1895-1900. Sometime colonel of 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, master of Brighton Harriers, lord of the manor of Coates, Cirencester • 28 Buckingham Place [residence 1878-1896]
90 Montpelier Road [residence 1899]
2 Goldsmid Road [residence 1901-1903]
4 Powis Villas [residence -1904]
DICKENS, Charles
The greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Frequent visitor to Brighton, coming to the town from 1837 and staying at several of the hotels on the seafront. He wrote much of Dombey and Son while staying at the Bedford Hotel in 1846. When he began touring with performances of readings from his works, Brighton was on his itinerary. His final visit was for an appearance at the newly-opened 3,000-seat Grand Concert Hall in West Street in 1868. Bedford Hotel, King's Road
Grand Concert Hall, 78 West Street
DICKINS, Charles Scrase JP
DICKINS, Charles Spencer Scrase
DICKINS, Charles Robert Scrase DL JP
      Charles Scrase Dickins was born in Brighton and baptised at St Nicholas' Church. He married Lady Frances Elizabeth Smith Compton, daughter of Charles Compton, 1st Marquess of Northampton, who inherited the Coolhurst estate at Horsham from her mother, where they lived. Owned one moiety of the Manor of Brighton1. Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Sussex.
      Charles Spencer Scrase Dickins, son of Charles Scrase Dickins. Born in Hove. Landowner, including York Hotel, Old Steine1. He lived at Newells, Lower Beeding, died in Cannes, France and left £21,613 16s 7d.
      Charles Robert Scrase Dickins. Landowner. Born in Hove, son of Charles Spencer Scrase Dickins. President of the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Lived at Coolhurst, Horsham (for the gardens at which he was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal for Horticulture in 1934), Chester Square, London and 11 Chichester Terrace. Left £12,596 1s 8d, plus settled land valued at £247,248 4s 8d.
1Poll Book 1856
11 Chichester Terrace [C R S Dickins' residence]
DODSON, Sarah Paxton Bell
Artist born in Philadelphia, daughter of an engraver. Studied in Paris 1873-1876 and returned to the USA in 1885 but went back to France, influenced by French symbolism, the Pre-Raphaelites and fairy painting. She moved to Brighton in 1891. Her 'Honey of Hymettus' ('Butterflies') sold in 2017 for £70,000. 50 Rose Hill Terrace [residence]
DORSET, Earls/Dukes of Landowners. See Sackville family. Dorset Buildings
Dorset Gardens
Dorset Street
New Dorset Street
Dorset Court, Carlisle Road
Hangleton Manor
Dyke Road Drive
DOUGLAS, Lord Alfred Bruce
Lord Alfred DouglasPoet and journalist, known as Bosie, third son of John Sholton Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, whom Oscar Wilde sued in 1895 for libel, which led to Wilde's own trials for gross indecency involving his relationship with Bosie. Douglas himself was not prosecuted. In 1902 he marred the poet Olive Custance; he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1911 and repudiated homosexuality. In 1923 he was sued for criminal libel by Winston Churchill over Douglas's claim that Churchill had been implicated in a plot against Lord Kitchener, for which Douglas was found guilty and jailed for two years. He lived with his mother, the Dowager Marchioness of Queensberry, in Hove until she moved to a nursing home and he took a flat nearby. He died in Lancing and is buried at Crawley. 35 Fourth Avenue [residence 1927-1935]
1 St Ann's Court, 15 Nizells Avenue [residence 1935-1945]
D'OYLY-JOHN, Cecil Rochfort
Cecil D'Oyly-JohnArtist. Brought up in Durban, South Africa, he led an itinerant and varied life before returning to England in 1939 to join the Military Police and served in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Temporarily blinded by a bomb in 1945 he took up painting during his recuperation. (He claimed to be an illegitimate son of Augustus John.) He is buried in St Margaret's churchyard, Rottingdean. 79 Marine Parade [residence 1959-1961]
DREWITT, Stanley
Actor, born in Rosario, Argentina. He died in Hove. 27 New Steine [residence]
DUFF, Alexander William George, 1st Duke of Fife KG, KT, GCVO, VD, PC
Duke of FifeMP for Elginshire and Nairnshire 1874-1879, when he succeeded as 6th Earl Fife. He was created Earl of Fife in 1885 by Queen Victoria and in 1889 married her granddaughter, Princess Louise, following which he was created Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff. He fell ill after surviving a shipwreck with his family off the coast of Egypt and died at Aswan. 1 Lewes Crescent (Fife House)* [residence 1896-1924]
DYER, Anson
Anson DyerA pioneering and, during the 1930s, England's leading film animator. He was born, probably at his childhood home in William Street, the fifth of at least seven children of James Dyer, a 'chairman' (previously a carrier of a sedan chair but by then someone who pushed an invalid carriage around town), and Sarah, a charwoman. He studied at Brighton School of Art in Grand Parade. Rejected for service during the First World War, he began his film career making topical war cartoons for British Colonial and Kinematograph Company in 1915. 55 William Street
43 Chester Terrace
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Page updated 25 June 2022