Robert Otterson
 Married to Doris Dix
 Sunderland, Durham, and various Army bases in England
Parents of
Robert Otterson
Father: Robert Otterson - Born 1881 Sunderland, Durham
Mother: Lizzie Abernethy - Born 1883 Sunderland, Durham
Doris Dix
Father: John James Dix - Born 1874 Murton, Durham Mother: Elizabeth Lawson Garwood - Born 1876 Londonotterson_robert_and_abernethy_lizzie.htmlotterson_robert_and_abernethy_lizzie.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1
Robert Otterson: 
Born 1911 Sunderland, Durham, England
Doris Dix: 
Born 1912 Sunderland, Durham, England
Children of
Robert Otterson and Doris Dix

Ruth (Living)
Ann (Living)
Michael (Living)otterson_michael_catherine_index.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0
A Tribute to the Soldier

Robert Otterson was buried in the summer of 1949. Rifle shots were fired over the grave and a Union Jack draped the coffin. Later, his older brother would say of the funeral wake that it was a particularly silent affair. The usual attempts to cheer up the mourners with stories and even a little humor were absent. Such was the stunned reaction to the death of a man who, at 37 and as a professional soldier, had spent more years away from home and family than he had ever wished. Three of those years had seen him incarcerated as a prisoner-of-war, first in North Africa, then in Italy and finally in Germany. As he walked up the narrow street of a village in Surrey, England, to be reunited with his family again in the late spring of 1945, he described his feelings as “on top of the world.”  

Four years later he was dead. Not the glorious battlefield death of a soldier, but a common road accident that threw him from his motor bike on a Welsh country road. For me, his son, it meant growing up without a father. I was nine months old and have no memory of him. I felt no particular deprivation during my boyhood - due, no doubt, to a devoted mother and two caring older sisters. But as I grew older I began to sense the loss. I missed the experience of talking to a father. I missed the things I imagined he would have taught me. I missed his wisdom.

Yet that void has been the stimulus for me to learn all I could about his life. Over the years, I have recreated from interviews, letters and journals what I could not learn first-hand. I share it now in several pages on this web site for his children, his 10 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren, with the hope that they will come to know and appreciate this remarkable man. 

Michael Otterson
August 2006

Above: Gravestone inscription abbreviations: Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Otterson, Royal Corps of Signals.  “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away,” is a scriptural text from the Bible - Song of Solomon, 2:17.

Robert’s wife, Doris Dix, outlived him by 28 years, long enough to see their first six grandchildren.

Robert Otterson, 1911-1949

A Tribute to the Soldier
The early years - under development
Doris Dix
The War: -

The Fall of France; Defense of England
The Middle East
The Camp at Benghazi
Life in the Camp
Thoughts of God
Change of Quarters
Evacuated to Tripoli
Voyage to Naples, Italy
Arrival at Bari Transit Camp, Italy
The Italian Diary
Letters from Italy
The Move to Germany
Stalag IVB 
Letters from Germany
Liberation: The Journey Home

After the War 
Parting - under development
Retracing History

The Otterson Families of Northeast England and related lines                                  To share information or comment on this site, contact the webmaster: Michael Otterson

For details of the family tree of Robert Otterson and Doris Dix, click on the WorldConnect icon below. This will open a window for these individuals in the Otterson-Berry family tree at, a free site.

The beautiful voice of Katherine Jenkins in a musical tribute, “Requiem for a Soldier” with video clips from the mini-series, “Band of Brothers.” Hit the back key after viewing the video to return to this page.