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Person Details
Clarence was born in 1896 (birth registered O/N/D Basford) the son of Arthur Cox and his second wife, Abeth Julia Cox nee Cave. Arthur married first Louisa Benns in 1882 (marriage registered A/M/J Colchester, Essex). Louisa was the daughter of William and Louisa Benns and was born in 1862 in Woodbridge, Suffolk, and baptised at St Mary's Woodbridge on 23 May 1862. They had three children: Violet Louisa (b. 1887, christened 28 June 1887 Nottingham St Peter), Arthur Douglas (b. 26 January 1890, christened 20 May 1890 Nottingham St Peter) and Edward Leslie (b.3 January 1893, christened Nottingham St Peter 30 March 1893). In 1891 Arthur (33), a wine merchant, and Louisa (28) were living in Clare Valley, off Standard Hill, Nottingham, with their two children, Violet Louisa and Arthur Douglas. Also in the household on the night of the census was Louisa Benns (55), Arthur's mother-in-law. Arthur and Louisa employed a housemaid, Polly Patchett (16). A third son, Edward Leslie, was born two years later in January 1893. Sadly, Louisa died the same year aged 30 (death registered 1893 J/F/M Nottingham). Two years later on 5 December 1895 Arthur married Abeth Julia Cave at Christ Church, Southgate, Enfield, Middlesex. Abeth was 21 years old (birth registered 1871 J/F/M Edmonton Middlesex). In 1901 Arthur and Abeth were living at Portland House, 113 Portland Road, Nottingham. Arthur was now described as a wine merchant and hotel proprietor. There were only three children in the household on the night of the census, Violet (13), Edward Leslie (8) and Clarence (4) but it is possible that Arthur Douglas, who would have been about 11 years old, was away at school. Arthur and Abeth employed three female domestic servants. Arthur Cox died on 20 June 1906. Probate was awarded to Abeth and to Harry Archer Cave hotel manager and William Henry Blackburn hosiery manufacturer. According to the Probate record Arthur was a veterinary surgeon. Arthur's widow married John Joseph Cridlan (b. abt 1853) in 1911 (marriage registered J/F/M Bingham). John Cridlan was an agriculturist who owned Maisemore Park, Gloucester, which became Abeth's family home. Abeth had at least one child by John Cridlan, Frank John Cridlan (birth registered 1914 J/F/M Gloucester). John Cridlan died aged 85 on 22 December 1938 and was buried at Great Malvern, Worcestershire. Abeth, her husband John Cridlan, her son Clarence and stepsons Arthur and Edward have not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. However, Abeth's stepdaughter, Violet Cox, had married Francis Crawford Williamson in 1908 (marriage registered O/N/D Lincoln) and in 1911 was living in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire, with Francis (34, b. 12 October 1876) and their two sons Harold Calvert (1, baptised 17 November 1909 Ingoldmells Lincolnshire) and Robert Douglas (birth registered 1901 J/F/M Spilsby, Lincolnshire). They were two have two more children, William Aldous (birth registered 1914 J/F/M Spilsby) and Mary Crawford (birth registered 1915 O/N/D Spilsby). Francis Williamson served with the Northumberland Fusiliers (52514 Private) in the war (previously 27567 8th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment); he qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He died aged 56 in 1931 (death registered March Louth). Violet died on 7 December 1936 aged 49. Arthur Douglas emigrated to Canada and became a farmer. He served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War (regimental number 276540), attesting in September 1916. He gave his next of kin as his brother, Edward Leslie Cox who was also living in Canada. Edward Leslie, now a hosiery manufacturer, attested on 14 September 1914 at the age of 21. He was posted to the Royal Fusiliers (2518) on 7 October 1914 but was discharged on 3 January 1915 as 'not likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds' ('disordered action of heart and attacks of syncope'). He had named his sister, Violet Williamson, of Cosy Cottage, Chapel [St Leonard] near Alford, Lincolnshire, as his next of kin. Edward emigrated to Canada shortly afterwards and became a farmer. He attested in April 1917 giving his address as the YMCA, Regina, Saskatchewan, and declared that he had spent four months in the Royal Fusiliers. He was considered fit to serve in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (regimental number 1069665). Edward again named his sister Violet as his next of kin. He was also to serve in the Second World War(private) but died in the Saskatchewan Mental Hospital on 2 July 1942; he was buried in North Battleford Municipal Cemetery, Saskatchewan. Abeth Cridlan died on 25 January 1957; she was then living in Hampstead, London.
He lived in the parish of All Saints (Raleigh Street, Nottingham). He was educated at Trent College. He was accepted for a non-degree course at the University of Sheffield but his studies were interrupted when he volunteered for service in the war.
29 Oct 1917
100586 - CWGC Website
  • MC MC Military Cross
10th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Clarence joined the Sherwood Foresters in February 1915 and was on the Somme shortly after the first attack in the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. In late October 1917 the battalion was in support lines in the Wijdendrift sector and his company, 'C' compnay, usedd a disused pillbox as its headquarters. On 29 October the pillbox came under heavy fire and a direct hit by a shell killed three men including Clarence. He is buried in Ruisseau Farm Cemetery (grave ref. D.4). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Military Cross Citation London Gazette 26 September 1917, citation published 9 January 1918: 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when commanding a raid. Reaching the enemy's wire, it was found to be uncut, and a Bangalore torpedo was used, which caused the raiding party to be scattered. He then rallied all his men, and made three attempts to get through a second row of wire which was uncut by the torpedo. This was done under very heavy machine gun and rifle fire at very close range. He set a splendid example to all ranks.' During the raid the party took one prisoner who was carrying 'valuable intelligence information.'
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 6 November 1917: 'Cox. Killed in action October 29th 1917, Lieutenant Clarence Frederick Stuart Cox MC, Sherwood Foresters, youngest son of the late Arthur Cox, Portland House, Nottingham, stepson of Mr JJ Cridlan, Maisemoor Park, Gloucester.' Gloucestershire Chronicle 19 January 1918: 'Lieut. Clarence Frederick Stuart Cox, 10th Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt) stepson of Mr JJ Cridlan, Maisemore Park. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when commanding a raid. Reaching the enemy's wire it was found to be uncut and a Bangalore torpedo was used, which caused the raiding party to be scattered. He then rallied all his men and made three attempts to get through a second row of wire which was uncut by the torpedo. This was done under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire at very close range. He set a splendid example to all ranks. Lieut Cox has since been killed in action near Langemarck in the push for Paaschendale. He was recommended for the Croix de Guerre when, in conjunction with the French, the British on July 16th 1917 finally captured Delville Wood, where the gallant officer received his baptism of fire.' A letter of condolence to Abeth from two soldiers who served with Clarence read, 'He was always so good to us all were ever [whether] we was in the trenches or out and that is the sort of man for us out here.' Clarence is commemorated on the Maisemore St Giles war memorial and also in a three-light stained glass window at the east end of the church together with a reredos below the window (WMA 49560). A panel reads, 'The reredos and panels are dedicated to the memory of a beloved son Lieut CFS Cox MC who fell in the Great War October 29th 1917.; An inscription on the window reads, 'Fight the good fight. To the memory of Lt CFS Cox and his gallant comrades of Maisemore who fell in the Great War 1914-1918.' St Giles, Church Lane, Maisemore, Gloucestershire. Clarence's Military Cross and British War Medal and Victory Medal together with the 'death plaque' were advertised for sale on www.antiquesofwarwick.co.uk/Military-Cross-Group-of-3-with-Death-Plaque Probate: Cox Arthur of Portland-house Portland-road Nottingham veterinary-surgeon died 20 June 1906 at Widmerpool Nottinghamshire Probate Nottingham 6 November to Abeth Julia Cox widow Harry Archer Cave hotel-manager and William Henry Blackburn hosiery-manufacturer. Effects £34060 12s 10d. Probate: Cox Clarence Frederick Stuart MC of Maisemore Park Gloucester lieutenant 10th battalion Sherwood Foresters died 29 October 1917 in France killed in action administration London 15 May to Abeth Julia Cridlan (wife of John Joseph Cridlan). Effects £1331 10s. 11d. resworn 31434 16s. 3d. Probate: Williamson Violet Louisa of The Bracebridge Mental hospital Lincoln widow died 7 December 1936 Administration Nottingham 18 February to William Aldous Williamson student and Mary Calvert Williamson spinster. Effects £3159 19s. 1d. Resworn £3199 12s. 6d. Probate: Cridlan John Joseph of Maisemore Park Maisemore Gloucestershire died 22 December 1938 Probate London 28 February to John Lionel Cridland (sic) company director Abeth Julia Cridlan widow George Charles Scott chartered accountant and Frank John Cridlan barrister-at-law. Effects £169355 10s. 9d. Probate: Cox Edward Leslie of The Saskatchewan Mental Hospital North Battleford Saskatchewan died 2 July 1942 Administration (limited) Nottingham 13 December to John Panayoty Ballachey solicitor attornney of William Aldous Williamson. Effects £19620 5s. 10d. Further Grant 27 April 1944. Probate: Cridlan Abeth Julia of Oak Tree House Redington-gardens Hampstead London NW3 widow died 25 January 1957 Probate London 25 April to Frank John Cridlan barrister at law. Effects £1556 0s. 5d. For a photograph of Clarence Cox see www.faithinwartime.wordpress.com/tag/military-cross (John Broome) which also has biographical details which have been included in this record.
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