These are the five sons of Joseph Cox of 6 Gothic Buildings, off Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton, as they appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 30 October 1915. They are
- George Cox (centre) was 48 years old and a Private in the 3rd South Staffordshire Regiment. He had served with the Army for 15 years previously and re-enlisted when war broke out.
- Thomas Cox (left, top) was serving with the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in the Transport section in France. He was 21 years old.
- Edgar Cox (right, top), aged 25, was a Private in the 6th South Staffordshire Regiment
- Henry Cox (left, bottom), 32 years old, had served in the Navy for five years
- William Cox (right, bottom), aged 42, served in the Navy for 26 years and was a wireless operator.
The article also explains that the only reason Mr Cox’s other two sons are not serving is on medical grounds. In 1891, Joseph and Sarah Cox were living at New Village, Tettenhall, with eight sons – George, William, Joseph, Harry, Frederick, Arthur, Herbert, and Edgar Harold. The family were at 19 Dobbs Street by 1901, although George and William did not appear with them, and they had an additional son, Thomas John. They were at 6 Gothic Buildings by 1911, Joseph was widowed and had remarried, and only Edgar and Thomas Cox remained at home.
George was born in around 1870. In 1891, he was a gardener. I have been unable to confirm further details of his military service or his life, but he appears to have survived the war.
Thomas was born in Wolverhampton on 17 August 1894, and was a machine shop’s lad for a brass and general foundry in 1911. On 15 March 1912, he enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 24005). Apart from bouts of influenza, he continued to serve and survived the war. He married Dora Clinton in Dudley in 1920. He died in Wolverhampton in 1981.
Edgar was born in Wolverhampton in 1890. He was a yard labourer for a coal merchant in 1911. On 23 May 1911, he enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 1374). In May 1916 he was discharged as he had reached the termination of his period of engagement. He married Martha A. Harrison in Wolverhampton in 1916. He died on 16 April 1959 at Walsall Manor Hospital, by which date his home address was 9 Countess Street, Walsall. The value of his effects was £1315 7s 7d.
Henry or Harry was born in Wolverhampton on 29 November 1882 and was a railway engine stoker in 1901. By the time he joined the Royal Navy (number SS130) in 1903 he was a fireman, and he served on various ships throughout the war and beyond, until 1921. I have not been able to confirm further details about his life.
William was born on 3 August 1875. He was a bricklayer’s labourer in 1891. From November 1891 until May 1919, he served with the Royal Navy (number 163856), before he was transferred to the Coastguard.