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War Memorials

In Memory of
Private 64675
Royal Army Medical Corps
Who Died on Monday, 24th May 1920
Age 25

Buried A. I3. Grave 12
Beeston Cemetery, Wollaton Rd, Beeston, Notts.

Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Remembered with Honour

Memorial in Beeston Cemetery1

John Cox memorial

John Robert Cox was born in Beeston, Nottinghamshire on 9 February 18962, the eldest of five children of Robert (b. 1867, Beeston) and Lizzie (b. 1871, Peterborough, Northants, née Baker)2. Robert and Lizzie had married on 15 April 1895 at Beeston Parish Church and lived at a number of addresses in Beeston in the years since, while Robert took work as a bleach yard labourer, a wheelmaker (probably at Humbers) and as a foundry worker. In 1911, the family were living at 15 Dagmar Grove, Beeston from where John Robert, aged 15, who was, by then, also working for Beeston Foundry, as an errand boy4. It is known that he was then a keen and popular member of the Beeston Lads Club and was a member of the brass band there. This involvement, as well his father's existing employment there, may well have helped him get the job at the foundry5.

When war came in August 1914, John Robert was not quite old enough to be part of the initial rush to enlist. But, although his Service Record has not survived, it does seem that he enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps sometime around the middle of 1915 when he was aged just 196. After initial and specialist training he was posted to France in December 19157 and, it seems, would have faced all the horrors of the fighting on the Western Front over the next three years. Almost inevitably, this had had an effect on his health which continued to impact on him after he was discharged on 23 January 19198. Although he was welcomed back to Beeston Foundry within a week and started work there as a turner9, it seems that the mental trauma he had suffered had not gone away and, at some point, he was admitted to the Mental Hospital at Radcliffe on Trent, Notts and was also awarded a disability pension10. Sadly, he died there on 12 June 1920 and was buried in Beeston Cemetery where his CWGC memorial stone still stands.

Private Cox was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1915 Star11. He is remembered on the memorial in Beeston Parish Church.

His mother, Lizzie Cox, died in 1933, aged 92, probably in Beeston. In the following year, his father, Robert Cox, married Lillian Hessey. He died , probably in Beeston, in 1952, aged 85. Lilian died in Nottingham in 1982. aged 8812.

1The photograph (by Peter Gillings) is from Private Cox's entry Nottinghamshire County Council Roll of Honour.
2His birth was registered in Basford Registration District (of which Beeston was part) in Q1/1896(Ref 7b 216). His full birth date is recorded in the Beeston Foundry records.
He was baptised at Beeston Parish Church on 8th Match 1896.
3Beeston, Notts, 1911 Census, Piece 20432 RD429 SD3 ED7 Schedule 223 - with his parents and four siblings, Elsie (b. 1898), Amy (b. 1902), George William (b. c1904) and Edith (b. c1905).
5His keen involvement in the Lads Club was described at a Memorial Service held there following his death (Beeston Gazette & Echo - 13 June 1930).
6He first appeared on the list in the Beeston Gazette & Echo of those who had enlisted in the edition dated 30 October 1915.
7His date of arrival in France is recorded as 19 December 1915 on his Medal Card (available on ancestry.com).
8The date of his discharge ('Transferred to Class Z') is given on his Medal Card (available on ancestry.com).
9John Robert started back to work there on 20 January 1919. He was living with his parents who were, by then, at 1 Humber Road South, Beeston (Beeston Foundry records)
10His date and place of death is recorded on his Army Pension Index Card - (available on ancestry.com). His death date is also shown as his leaving date in the Beeston Foundry records.
11Details from John Robert's Medal Card and the Medal Rolls - available on ancestry.com.
12All family details have been gathered from standard genealogical sources.

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