SOUTHAMPTON’S Richard Dawson was attending a technology conference on the 106th floor of the south tower when the terrorists struck.

Denied for more than a year to say farewell at a proper funeral, Richard’s family decided to erect a memorial stone at the graveyard where his father is buried.

Richard, 32, of Canton Street, travelled to New York each month in his role as product manager with Hedge End-based technology giant Thales Contact Solutions.

Following the September 11 atrocities his mother Helen Dawson waited anxiously for him to ring home.

“Not for one moment did I originally think that Richard was in that centre,” she told the Echo a year after the attack.

“When we found out I thought that if there was any way of getting out then Richard would have found it and got out – he was that sort of person.”

Helen, 51, of Surrey Road, Bournemouth, flew out to New York and visited Ground Zero but failed to find any trace of her son.


A rescue worker stands on a piece of steel where the World Trade Center once stood in New York, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2001. (AP Photo/Ed Betz) (JM DM).

A rescue worker stands on a piece of steel where the World Trade Center once stood in New York, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2001.


She said: “It was something we had to do.

“We only went for a few days. There were too many people wandering about, too many sightseers.

“It was difficult for me to come back and when we took off for home I felt that I had left him behind.

“We’re coping and getting on with our lives. We still think about him all the time.”

The last time Helen saw her son was shortly before his death as he celebrated his birthday with a party at his home in Canton Street, Southampton.


Southampton General Hospital, the Red and White Appeal has reached £1m in fundraising, hospital staff and the fundraising team gather to celebrate, 6th September 2011, fundraisers Anthony Wiskin and Susie Pearce jump for joy



Only days before, he had rung her as he regularly did, asking for cooking tips as he prepared to make dinner for his girlfriend’s parents.

A Southampton University graduate, Richard had a masters in electronic engineering.

He initially worked in Fareham, buying a house and renting his spare rooms to university friends who were continuing to study.

After a brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a fighter pilot in the RAF, Richard settled on engineering – and a mission to climb the ranks in his industry.




Helen said: “He always said he wanted his boss’s job one day, he made no secret of that.

“He worked hard, but enjoyed the socialising – he loved his food and drink. He was a regular with his friends on a Friday night at a restaurant in St Mary’s, so much so they even consulted him on changing the menu. I often wonder if they never knew why he hasn’t been back.”

A month later, scores of friends and family, and colleagues from America, attended a poignant memorial service for Richard. It included his girlfriend, who was due to move in with him a week after the atrocity.

But by the following April, the mourners were able to reunite again – this time to say a proper farewell to Richard following the discovery of his body among the ruins of Ground Zero.


Pix Corin Messer - 08/09/11 - bdawsongrave2 The grave of Anthony Richard Dawson (1969-2001) at the North Cemetery in Bournemouth. COPYRIGHT BOURNEMOUTH DAILY ECHO.

The grave of Anthony Richard Dawson

Richard was bought home and buried with his father.