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Remembered Today:

HERBERT JAMES COX


rene oliver
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I have hit a brick wall. Someone advised me that it is possible to get a soldiers details - even down to colour of hair and eyes. How do I go about this?

Soldiers details - Herbert James Cox. Born Eynsham, Oxfordshire 1894

Death 5th May 1918. Loc. Egypt.

Enlisted St. Pancras.

Rank - Sgt.

Prince Alberts (Somerset Light Infantry). Battn.. 12th

No. 37131

Theatre of War - Egyptian Theatre.

Formerly 13680 Northampton Regt.

Buried Alexandria (Hadra) War. Cem.

Age 26.

It is more of the personal details I require. I am the opposite side of the Country so am unable to delve locally around Eynsham. I am also housebound.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Someone mentioned `Attestation Papers` - what are they?

Rene

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I have hit a brick wall. Someone advised me that it is possible to get a soldiers details - even down to colour of hair and eyes. How do I go about this?

Only if his service records have survived.

Someone mentioned `Attestation Papers` - what are they?

His service records.

Craig

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And for the record, it doesn't look like his service or pension papers have survived.

BillyH.

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To Billy H. and Craig.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I think a whole batch of Service Records were blitzed during WW2. No trace on my Father-in-law COOKE either. The brickwall gets bigger and bigger.

One thing I did find - for 12th Bttn. 30th April 1918 embarked at Alexandria for Marseilles, landing 7th May.

Yet Herbert James Cox died 5th May. So I presume he died on board a ship/boat. Would there be any way of finding out if he died

through `illness`, `injuries` or if the `ship went down`. My only source of very skimpy information (an Aunt of 94) always said he wen t

down with his ship

Rene

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It is unlikely he 'went down with his ship' as he is interred in a plot at the Cemetery which probably means he never left Egypt.

A more likely explanation is that he was in hospital in Alexandria and was too sick to embark with his Battalion and subsequently died in hospital. Unfortunately neither SDGW or the Cemetery Register show the cause of death. If he died of wounds he would have been evacuated from the front line so it's difficult to say how long he was in hospital, similarly if it was sickness, most likely dysentery he could have contracted it in the front, or on service but it's speculation without a service record.His death certificate may throw some light.

I can't see any references on the British Newspaper Archive.

The Battalion suffered most of it's casualties in Palestine during the 3rd Battle of Gaza in November 1917.

His medal entitlement indicates he did not go overseas until after 31.12.1915.

CWGC, as you probably know lists his mother as Emma Cox, Abbey Street, Eynsham.

Ken

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I don't think he was on that ship. He may have stayed in Egypt with the 4th or 5th Battalion, Somerset L.I.?

Soldiers Died in the Great War states "Killed in Action" in Egypt not Died of Wounds, and death onboard ship is usually given as "Drowned", or if through illness "Died".

The sailing date you have given appears in the Long Long Trail, but if you follow the links there through to 74th Yeomanry Division :

http://www.1914-1918.net/74div.htm :

It says that "Embarkation began at Alexandria on 29 April. The first units landed at Marseilles on 7 May 1918 and entrained for the north. Concentration was completed in the area of Rue (near Abbeville) by 18 May"

That indicates that it took over a week to transfer to France. He may have been killed in Egypt while waiting for another transport ship.

Searching SDGW for men from 12th S.L.I. killed between 10th April 1918 + 20th May 1918 - - - he is the only one.

Can't offer much more help, but the local newspapers often have the answer. Anytime from a few days after his death until 2 months after.

It might just be mentioned in the Battalion war diary (long shot), try posting a request on the Forum - or download it here for £3.30 :

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7355622

BillyH.

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The cemetery where he is interred is associated with the Base Depot and Hospital complex although there are a few shown as kia in the Cemetery Register.

A photo of his grave is here http://www.twgpp.org/information.php?id=1837587

Just a point of clarification the war diary linked above (post 6) is for the 12th Bn time in France.

The diary for Egypt/Palestine has not been digitised http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7359749

The Somerset County Archive has some records including casualty lists. though it's not clear if they include WW1 http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/Archives/sli/guide.htm

Ken

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Just a point of clarification the war diary linked above (post 6) is for the 12th Bn time in France.

The diary for Egypt/Palestine has not been digitised http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7359749

The war diary is from 1st May and they didn't arrive in France until 7th May at the earliest.

Herbert Cox was KIA on 5th May, so there is just a possibility (given that he was their only casualty in over a month) that his death may be mentioned - although perhaps not by name. The split in the war diary is at an unfortunate point though.

Has anyone got this war diary?

BillyH.

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T

One thing I did find - for 12th Bttn. 30th April 1918 embarked at Alexandria for Marseilles, landing 7th May.

Yet Herbert James Cox died 5th May. So I presume he died on board a ship/boat. Would there be any way of finding out if he died

through `illness`, `injuries` or if the `ship went down`. My only source of very skimpy information (an Aunt of 94) always said he wen t

down with his ship

As noted above the Battalion embarked on the 30th April 1918 on the ill-fated HMST 'Leasowe Castle'. The digitised diary covers an uneventful voyage from May 1st to disembarkation in France on the 7th, no casualties are recorded.

The Leasowe Castle was sunk on the 27th May (See this thread http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=130199) so as with most family stories there is an element of truth, the ship was sunk but he was not on board.

I can't explain why SDGW (presumably the CD) shows kia; the An****ry transcript (as at post 1) does not reference 'type of casualty'.

Ken

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Yes, it's on the CD version.

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  • 2 months later...

A big thank you to all of you who replied. I have only just caught up with this Forum due to illness and also lack of PC. I did contact a couple of Groups from Eynsham without success.

While I am on this site, can any one tell me what type of work was performed by someone in - 258th Protection Company, Royal Defence Corps. Around Oxfordshire. The person I am researching died - At home. in 1917.

Rene

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