Job Charles Dyas, Mayor of Southampton 1944-1945, was born in St Pancras, London, 1 April 1886. He was the son of William Charles Dyas and Frances Elizabeth (or Elizabeth Frances) Dyas nee Rossiter. At the time of his baptism in 2 May 1886, his father’s occupation was Post Office Sorter, although in the 1881 census, he was a steward on board S S South Tyne. In 1891, the five year old Job was living with his grandparents at 92 Stanley Buildings, Pancras Road. Six years later, at the age of 11, he was apprenticed to the Southampton sailmaking firm of G. J. Tilling and Sons, and the 1901 census shows him in the household of Herbert E Boyland at 1 Pembroke Square. According to his obituary in the Southern Daily Echo, at the end of his apprenticeship he went to sea on the Castle Line ships for five years. However, when he married Louisa Mary Saunders in her parish church of St Mary, Wareham, Dorset on 24 March 1909, his occupation is “collector”. He is not at home at 214 Portswood Road in 1911: Louisa and their eighteen-month-old son Charles Henry are present, along with her sister Edith, and cousins Edwin Allingham and Frances Downton.
In 1912 Job C Dyas set up as a sail, tent and blindmaker, at first in Portswood Road, and then at 27 Palmerston Road and 62a Winton Street, Commercial Road, and finally in Freemantle. At his death, he was chairman of the Southern Regional Area of the National Association of Window Blind manufacturers.
Mr Dyas was sidesman at St Paul’s Church, London Road (destroyed in the Blitz) and involved with the Boy Scouts there. He was equally involved at Freemantle Parish Church, whose vicar was his chaplain as mayor. He was a yachtsman, belonging to the Millbrook Sailing Club and the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, and a Freemason.
He was elected to the Council for Freemantle, for the Ratepayers'Party, in 1934. His obituary says “he was conscientious in the extreme. Never prominent in debate, his opinion was recognised as sound, and in his unobtrusive way, he made a useful and solid contribution to Corporation work.” He became Sheriff in November 1943, and Mayor in 1944. His hope that he would welcome peace while in office was fulfilled, and at the VE day celebrations on 8 May 1945, he said that it was the proudest moment of his life.
As mayor, he invited returning prisoners-of-war to the Civic Centre, at first informally, and then with At Homes for the men and their relatives. His mayoral charity was the Forces’ Homecoming Fund.
He was also, as an ex-seaman, interested in the welfare of seafarers, and he had organised a social evening at the Guildhall for Merchant Navy officers and men. It took place without him on the 23 October.
The Victory celebrations had created an endless round of events, from 111 children’s tea parties, to the more formal events at the Civic Centre. He cut short a much-needed holiday in Weymouth when the Queen Mary returned to Southampton on 11 August 1945: the event was quickly followed by VJ Day and another exhausting round of celebrations. Tireless in his dedication to duty, Mr Dyas ignored signs of ill-health, until forced to submit to medical orders and take to his bed, where he continued to direct mayoral business. At the end of October London specialists diagnosed leukaemia, and on 7 November he came home to die. He died on the day of the Mayor-making ceremony for his successor, Alderman H Vincent, 9 November 1945.
His widow Louisa became a Councillor in her own right in 1949.

Job Charles Dyas

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From the 1945 Yearbook and Diary, Southampton Borough Council

Mayor Job Charles Dyas and Mayoress Louisa Mary Dyas

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Leading the VE Day dancing in the Civic Centre forecourt with the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, 8 May 1945 (and 9 May 1945)


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