William Cox was the son of Richard and Menora Cox of The Mount, Brettell Lane, and in 1914 he was Assistant Sanitary Inspector for Brierley Hill Council. He volunteered for the South Staffords Territorials and served in the 2/6th Battalion. They went hurriedly to Ireland in 1916 after the Easter Rising and were hard pressed for a few days. They moved to the Western Front in February 1917 and were among the units which followed up the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Their next posting was in Flanders for the Third Battle of Ypres where they took part in the fierce Battle of the Menin Road, taking over front line trenches on the 21st September at Pommern Castle near the Ypres-Zonnebeke road. A strong German barrage hit them in the process of assembly on the 23rd without adequate cover and many casualties were suffered. Despite the efforts of his trench and Amblecote mate, Frederick Zinke, who brought him back to the British lines, Private William Cox was severely gassed and died on the opening day. He was 23 years of age and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and the Brierley Hill, Wordsley and Brierley Hill church Memorials.
Church Hill,Brierley Hill,Dudley,West Midlands,England
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