William Brandwood Dakin (1898-1982)

William was born on the 2nd June 1898 in Blackpool, England but moved to Canada when his father, Alfred Jolly Dakin, emigrated there to open a dynamite store. After signing up for the Great War he returned to Canada only to then leave for the USA to study Dentistry. He lived in Oakland for many years but then returned to Canada in retirement. We believe he may have had 2 wives but we can only find record of Florence.

L-R rear – Gary Brandwood Dakin, Alfred Jolly Dakin, William Brandwood Dakin, front – Gary’s wife(?) & Emma Dakin

William lied about his age when volunteering for the 1st World War as the date of birth on his attestation papers now confirm. His conscription record states 2 June 1896 but his real birth date was 1898. His military number was 107192. Prior to 1915 he had once been a cadet in the Naval Cadet corp but in the Great War he was assigned to the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. During WW2 he used to send the UK Dakin family food parcels.

His son Gary worked his working life at Rand McNally map makers as a cartographer and retired to Sun City Arizona. Peter Dakin visited him and he showed him with great pride his wood working shop well equipped including dust extraction system, lathe etc and all in perfect neat layout. His father did not consider Gary as being successful as he had not made a lot of money. Bill did not mess with words, he was blunt and direct.

Peter Dakin visited him on Victoria Island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where he retired (and we assume eventually died). He had made his money in Oakland across the bay from San Francisco, not just from dentistry, but mostly from real estate finally selling his last holdings on which the University of California, Berkeley now stands. He purchased a grand house and estate in Victoria, near the famous Butchart Gardens visited by millions from around the world.

The Director advised me with insistence to be there by 9 a.m. Bill had built the nursing home in the grounds of his estate and his home eventually was used as a recreation centre. When I arrived he was beaming and wearing his military blazer. He ordered drinks which turned out to be coffee, shortbread and a bottle of brandy. We talked for about 2 hours and by then he had started on his second bottle of Brandy. Then the nurse came after his forth pee break to advise him time it was time for his nap. She helped him up and he pinched her backside.

Peter Dakin

Peter thanked the Director and made a point about his Brandy drinking and asked does he always entertain like that; surely he will become alcoholic. The director said he usually only has one bottle of brandy in the mornings and it helps him sleep all afternoon as he is a little wild at night when they play cards after dinner. Peter suggested that drinking that much was surely not good for his health and might kill him. The Director said yes it might, but he owns the place and frankly that man is too stubborn to die.

Date Event Comments
1898 Born Blackpool, Lancashire
1898 Christened Holy Trinity Church, Blackpool
1901 Census 35 & 37 Lenwick Street, Blackpool
1911 Census Scholar, 35 Church Street, Blackpool
1914 Emigration Liverpool to Quebec, destination British Columbia
1915 Attestation WW1 Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force
1919 Emigration Victoria to Seattle, destination Berkley
1925 Married To Florence Wilde
1930 Graduation Degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery, Uni. California – see p11
1930 Census Dentist, Jones Street, San Francisco
1932 Resident Alameda County, California (California Voter Reg)
1934 Resident Alameda County, California (California Voter Reg)
1942 Resident Alameda County, California (California Voter Reg)
1944 Resident Alameda County, California (California Voter Reg)
1982 Died Death registered at Fremont, Alameda County, California, United States but may have been at Victoria Island, British Columbia
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