Dick finished his schooling at Downside and began studying to be a Engineer at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall. From letters, Dick left for Rhodesia in 1905 with his brother Bill, but returned to England in 1906 and continued his studies at Camborne. After qualifying in 1908, he left for Australia with only £10. He worked at Broken Hill mining zinc; then at Koolgardy (near Kalgoorly) surveying for gold. He later joined his brothers mining for gold near Bulowayo, Southern Rhodesia. Dick then went to Kenya, where he initially surveyed for gold and had a moment of triumph when he struck quite a valuable gold seam at Kakamega.
In 1914, he enlisted in the East African Mounted Rifles to fight in the 1st World War as a munitions supplier taking ammunition to the front line with bullock and cart. Upon completing his deliveries, he was required to join in the fighting. He helped to chase the Germans out of East Africa down to Mozambique. He was twice mentioned in despatches and promoted to Second Lieutenant.
For a while, Dick took up Bill's role running the Doondu coffee estate as a working partner for the Dormers. On dissolution of the partnership, he bought 500 acres of scrub land at Rioki and started his own coffee farm from scratch in 1924. He had to fight off lions and other game and re-plant the entire plantation three times due to various deseases affecting the trees.
The neighbouring Lioki mission was established by Italian missionaries and Dick gave them several more acres to develop a school, a clinic and a convent. The Holy Ghost Fathers took over the mission, which is deemed to be one of the most successful in Kenya. The St Anne's School for girls is doing very well and still growing. There is also a strong Roman Catholic youth movement there.
Despite the distance from and slow travel to England, Dick kept in touch with friends and family back 'home', eventually marrying at the age of 48 his bride of 25.
The farm was sold after Dick's death to a co-operative of 3,000 local people for two thirds of the asking price. This was the right thing to do for those Kikuyus who defended the family against their own kind during the Maou Maou Rebellion of 1952.