Thomas Cox 1900-1918

Pte 53rd Battalion Hampshire Regiment

Thomas, or Tom, Cox was born in October 1900 to William Humphrey Cox, an 'aerated water manufacturer', and Ellen Cox. He had a half-brother nine years his elder, Charles William. In 1901 the family lived in St Mary Street. In 1911 Thomas was at school and the family had moved to 118 Friarn Street. By this time his father William had died and widowed Ellen was working as a shop keeper to support her family of Thomas and three girls. For a time before enlisting he worked for John Edward and Son, West End Carriage Works.

Thomas joined the army on 5 October 1918. His memorial records how he was a member of the Wiltshire Regiment and the 53rd Battalion, which was the 'young soldier' battalion. This was a basic recruit training unit based at Rolleston, so it seems that young Thomas did not even survive his basic training. He died on the 31 October 1918 of pneumonia at Fargo Military Hospital on Salisbury Plain. At that time his mother was living in 10 Christmas Steps, Bristol.He was buried in the Gane family plot, which may have been his mother's family. His memorial bore the caption 'I only yield thee what is thine'.