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Person Details
Beeston Nottingham
William Hancox was born in 1895 the son of Charles a cycle hand and Eliza Hancox (née Riley). William's parents were both born at Birmingham in 1866. Married in 1888, they had fifteen children, eleven surviving infancy - Thomas b.1888 Birmingham, Charles b.1889 Birmingham, Alice b.1893 Beeston, William b.1895 Beeston, Albert b.1900 Beeston, Eliza b.1901 Beeston, Frederick b.1902 Beeston, George b.1904 Beeston, Margaret b.1908 Beeston and James Hancox b.1910 Beeston. In 1901 they lived at 30, Chapel Street and in 1911 at 52, William Street (both Beeston Nottingham). Charles was unemployed, Thomas a lace hand threader, Charles and William were lace hands. Alice kept house whilst Eliza, Frederick, George attended school and Margaret and James were at home. Charles and Eliza later lived at 6, William Street, Beeston.
He was lace hand (threading)
30 May 1918
24
2749879 - CWGC Website
268967
Private
5th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Hancox was the 38th member of the Beeston Old Boys Association to lose his life during the Great War. He was serving with the 5th Reserve Battalion Sherwood Foresters which, as well as supplying drafts to replace casualties in France, had the job of guarding a stretch of the East Coast against any invasion by the enemy. Hancox died in hospital at Grimsby after a training accident at Saltfleet in Lincolnshire. His body was brought home and he is buried in Beeston Cemetery.
CWGC personal inscription on gravestone: 'Three little words forget me not they don't seem much but mean a lot' There was a large crowd at Wollaton Road, Cemetery in Beeston, when William Hancox was given a full military funeral. Representatives included officers and boys of the Boys' Brigade and members of the Beeston Old Boys. William Hancox, 5th (Reserve) Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, died on 30th May 1918, the day after being hit by a stray bullet from a rifle range whilst bathing near Saltfleet, Lincolnshire. The inquest into his death was reported on 1st June 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post: “SHOT DURING BATHING PARADE. “BEESTON SOLDIER KILLED. “An inquest was held at an East Coast town yesterday [31st May 1918], upon William Hancox (24), of William-street, Beeston, a private in the Sherwood Foresters, who died in hospital from a gunshot wound sustained on Wednesday [29th May 1918]. “According to the evidence, Hancox was one of a party of officers and men who went bathing at a point on the coast near their camp. Some considerable distance away was a rifle range, at which firing practice was taking place. Lieut. R. H. Taylor, who was charge of the bathers, suddenly became aware that bullets were passing over the bathing party, and he gave an order to the men to lie down. While they were obeying it, Hancox was struck by a bullet, which passed clean through his head, lacerating the brain. “Witness stated that the nearest point of the danger zone of the rifle range was fully 800 yards from where the men were bathing, and all the necessary precautions had been observed by the firing party, and no danger was apprehended. “It appeared that, at this particular time, a detail of recruits was firing a “gas practice," and through inexperience some of them probably got the eyepieces of their respirators blurred and lost sense of direction when firing. “A verdict of “Accidental death” was recorded by the jury.” Article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Remembered on

Photos

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  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking the grave of William Hancox at Beeston Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
    William Hancox - The Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking the grave of William Hancox at Beeston Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings
  • Photograph showing the replacement headstone marking the grave of William Hancox at Beeston Cemetery, Nottingham. Photograph courtesy of John Beech. Note the incorrect 'Australian' badge; error reported to CWGC by Jim Grundy, March 2019.
    William Hancox - Photograph showing the replacement headstone marking the grave of William Hancox at Beeston Cemetery, Nottingham. Photograph courtesy of John Beech. Note the incorrect 'Australian' badge; error reported to CWGC by Jim Grundy, March 2019.