Joseph Christopher Cox

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Joseph Christopher Cox. Image in public domain.

COX, Joseph Christopher

Service no: 6063 [1]

Place of birth: March, 1890

Address: Mayfields, Dubbo

Occupation: Labourer

Next of kin: Francis Cox (father), later Martha Cox (mother), Mayfields, Cobbora Road, Dubbo, later c/- J. Douglas, Dora Street, East Orange

Date of enlistment: 10 October 1916

Place of enlistment: Dubbo

Age at enlistment: 26

Fate: Proceeded to Dubbo camp 10 October 1916. Transferred to Liverpool camp 16 October 1916. Embarked HMAT A8 Argyllshire, Sydney, 30 October 1916. Disembarked Plymouth 10 January 1917. Marched in to Rollestone 11 January 1917. Proceeded to France 15 March 1917. Marched out to unit, Etaples, 19 March 1917. Wounded in action sustaining gunshot wounds to the arm and right leg 5 May 1917. Embarked Warilda for England 17 May 1917. Admitted to 4th Southern General Hospital, Plymouth, 18 May 1917. Discharged from 4th Southern General Hospital 20 June 1917. Reported to depot at Perham Downs 4 July 1917. Departed Southampton, England 26 July 1917 Arrived Le Havre, France, 31 July 1917. Rejoined unit 14 August 1917. Reported to be missing in action Belgium 22 September 1917. Reported to have been killed in action, Beaurevoir Wood, Belgium on 18 September 1917 following a court of enquiry on 29 September 1917.

Date of death: 18 September 1917

Buried: Hooge Crater Cemetery, Zillebeke, Belgium, Plot VI, Row E, Grave 14/15

Joseph Christopher Cox was born in March in 1890, the sixth of 13 children born to Francis Henry Baylis Cox and Martha Griffith. Most of Joseph’s siblings were born in Orange but by the turn of the century the family had moved to Menah near Mudgee, where Francis ran a grazing property, and where he was killed in a riding accident in January 1910.

In January 1916 26-year-old Joseph travelled to Dubbo to enlist. Private Cox was assigned to the 22nd Battalion, 17 Reinforcements, and proceeded to Dubbo training camp. The following week he travelled to Liverpool, where he spent two weeks before embarking for overseas service on 30 October.

Private Cox disembarked in Plymouth in early January 1917 and was marched in to Rollestone camp for further training before proceeding to France on 15 March. In early May Joseph was wounded in action, sustaining gunshot wounds to his arm and right leg. He was transferred to the 4th Southern General Hospital in Plymouth where he spent almost two months recovering. He rejoined his unit in France in August.

On 22 September 1917 Private Cox was reported to be missing in action in Belgium. On 29 September a court of enquiry determined that Joseph had been killed in action at Beaurevoir Wood on 18 September. According to a comrade Joseph and eight fellow soldiers were killed when a shell burst in their dugout. Joseph was 28.

In February 1918 Joseph’s mother, Martha, wrote to the Base Records office to enquire if any of her son’s personal effects had been forwarded to her from France, and, if not, could they please be sent. The officer in charge replied:

“no personal effects have been returned to this office to date, but any coming to hand will be promptly forwarded”.

In April 1919 Charlotte Gardiner of Forest Lodge also sent an enquiry to the Base Records Office regarding Joseph’s personal effects. She was informed that:

“it is considered improbable that any personal property he may have had in his possession at the time of his death was ever recovered”.

Joseph Christopher Cox is commemorated on the Wesley Uniting Church in Dubbo World War I Roll of Honour, the Dubbo War Memorial, the Dubbo RSL and on panel number 96 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

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