James Arnold Dickie was born in Grandview, Manitoba on February 10 1893. He trained as a pharmacist/druggist and worked for the Vancouver Drug and Chemical Company from 1910-1914. He enlisted in the Manitoba Regiment on January 27, 1916 (link to Attestation Papers) but in September 1917 he transferred to the RFC as a 2nd Lieutenant. After flight training in England on the Maurice Farman Shorthorn and Armstrong Whitworth FK3 he progressed to the BE2e and FE2b. He does not appear to have flown any combat missions and likely served as a flying instructor. He returned to Canada after the war in 1919, and in 1925 moved to Fort William where he opened a drug store. When the Fort William Aero Club was formed he became its chief instructor. Dickie was also active in aviation outside the city as the secretary-manager of the Canadian Flying Clubs Association, which had been formed to promote aviation across the country. He was recognized as an extremely competent instructor, well thought of by the Club members, and his death in a training accident in September 1930 came as a major blow to the club. He had married Jamesina Henderson Burnett of Perth, Ontario in 1930, and they had one son who was born shortly after his father’s death.
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