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Messrs Holts & Co + Messrs Cox & Co

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It appears that all British regiments used either Messrs Holts & Co or Messrs Cox & Co as their bankers during the First World War.

For families of officer POWs the activities of the enquiry office of Messrs Cox & Co is reasonably well known (See 'List of British Officers taken prisoner ...', first published by Cox & Co in 1919). The enquiry office was opened in September 1914 in a small room lent by Lord Hartington in his house adjoining the Bank of England in Craig's Court. At the outset, the aim was to give advice and information to relatives regarding wounded officers with the BEF. A system was also built up of obtaining all available information regarding officers reported 'Missing', and this gradually came to be the principal work of the enquiry office. The information collected was obtained in various ways but chiefly by means of the fact that a missing officer's cheque was often the first intimation that he was a POW, and it appears that all, or a high proportion of, cheques cashed by officers in captivity passed through the hands of Messrs Cox & Co.

Very few references have been found about Messrs Holts & Co. Did they operate in a similar way, either indepently or in conjunction with Messrs Cox & Co? Any information about the way in which Messrs Holts & Co operated, especially relative to POWs, would be greatly appreciated.

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yes, I was astounded that Cox wrote to my great grandparents telling them that their son (my gfather) had cashed a cheque in Hannover. Virtually the first news that he was a PoW - were they really allowed to saunter down to the bank (in Brit uniform !) and cash a cheque !!!! Mind you I have another piece of paper which is a "parole" that would seem to allow him to wander about . And most of the correspondence concerning the death of my gt uncle is from Coxs

I'm grateful for the info on Cocs - do their records survive anywhere ??


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I can't give you an immediate answer on Holt's, but you might like to know that it still exists in the form of Holt's Farnborough Branch, which is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland. I don't knon what they hold in the way of original records, but it might be worth writing to them at Lawrie House, Victoria Road, Farnborough, Hants GU14 7NR.

Charles M

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Re: Cox & Co - Military bankers.

Cox's (later Cox's and Kings) became part of Lloyds Bank (now Lloyds TSB) - and the branch at Pall Mall, London was known as Cox's & Kings branch. I don't whether Lloyds TSB whether would have any records though.

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"Cox & King's" in Pall Mall (who were my father's bankers when he was an officer in WW2, ironic as he was a clerk at Lloyds Bank when called up and returned to it in 1948..) fell defunct in 2002, even as a branch of Lloyd's, when the building was sold. It's now a hotel.

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  • 7 months later...
Guest Coxandkings

Cox's & Co (now Cox's & Kings) does still infact exist, however not as the private bank it once was. Having been exorbed by Lloyds TSB in 1923 we are now one of Londons largest branches of the Bank, purely looking after the financial needs of officers in the forces and their families. Whilst apart from Winston Churchills final ledgers we hold a limited amount of limited historical information at the branch. Irrespective of this, the Lloyds TSB archive office maybe able to help with specific enquiries.

Cox's & Kings

7 Pall Mall



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