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Born: 1880, Baildon
Died: 4 March 1917
Buried: Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont St Eloi
Address: 3 Browgate Lane, Baildon
Parents: William & Mary Ann
Siblings: Edmund, Albert, Mary, Sarah, Emma, James, Walter, Eva
Occupation: Engineer
Rank: Gunner
Medals/awards: Certificate of Merit
Rolls of Honour: Baildon
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Willie Cox
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Willie was the fifth of nine children born in Baildon to chauffeur William Cox and his wife Mary Ann. He started life in Tentercroft, Baildon, and by 1901 was working as a machine fitter/engineer. By 1911, with both parents dead, he was living with his brother Albert at 3 Browgate Lane, Baildon and was now described as working at a Tank Works. According to the reports in the local paper, he also had a spell in the army and re- enlisted when war broke out. On 5 November 1915, the Shipley Express & Times reported: Mr Albert Cox, chimney sweep of No 3 Browgate Lane, Baildon, has two brothers on active service and both are experienced campaigners. Pte Willie Cox is at present in France with the RFA. He joined the army 12 years ago at the age of 17 and has seen service in India and various other parts of the British Empire. At the outbreak of the present war
his period of service had expired but he volunteered for active service. He offered himself to the military authorities and was rejected as medically unfit. The second time he offered himself, he was accepted. He has now been in the firing line for five months. In Baildon, where he was born and spent his youth, he is well known. In his last letter from the Continent, he says: “I suppose you will have read in the papers about the large number of German prisoners we have taken lately. I will just relate an incident that happened at the time they were taken. “Amongst them was a German officer who lashed out his revolver and pointed it at one of our officers. Before he could draw the trigger, however, one of our
assisting with wounded horses near Pozieres on August 10th under heavy fire. Major General H V Cox, Commanding Officer.” Gunner Cox served several years with the colours before the outbreak of the present hostilities and enlisted again to do his ‘bit’ whilst a younger brother, Walter, is in the navy. On 16 March 1917 there was a final report: Mr Albert Cox of Brow Gate Lane, Baildon received a letter on Sunday from Major W R Warren informing him of the death of his brother, Gunner Willie Cox, of the Royal Field Artillery, who was killed instantaneously in action in France on March 4th. Gunner Cox had served for some years previously with the RFA and upon the outbreak of war again volunteered and was sent to France in February 1915. The unfortunate soldier was unmarried had a brother, Walter, who is in the Navy.
privates set about him with his fists and gave him two lovely black eyes.” Another brother, Able Seaman Walter Cox is just now serving on board HMS Albermarle which has been in action on several occasions. He has been in the Navy five years and has cruised in all parts of the world. While on a short furlough about six months ago he got married. His bride was Miss Mary Filbey of 9 Caroline Street, Saltaire. He is 24 years of age. On 17 November 1916, the paper reported: Gunner W Cox, brother of Mr Albert Cox of Browgate, has recently been the recipient of a certificate bearing the following congratulations: “September 11th, gunner William Cox, 73rd Battery, 5th Brigade, R.F.A., has been congratulated for gallantry and devotion to duty in