Killed in Action on Friday, 8th June 1917, age 33.
Commemorated on Panel 35 and 37 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.
Husband of Mrs Susannah Cox, of 33b Factory Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.
First landed Balkans, 21st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.
Commemorated on the Tipton Library, St. Matthew's, and St. John's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.
Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1608259/
Birth of Samuel Joseph Cox registered December quarter 1883 in Dudley.
2 & 3 Barnfield Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Cox (45, Bricklayer, born Tipton), his wife Mary Ann (40, born Tipton), and their 10 children: Henry (20, Blacksmith, born Tipton), Thomas (19, Bricklayer, born Tipton), Samuel (17, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Tipton), Mary Ann (14, born Tipton), Albert (12, born Tipton), Lizzie (10, born Tipton), Florence (8, born Tipton), William (7, born Tipton), Annie (6, born Tipton), and Lillie (3, born Tipton).
Marriage of Samuel Joseph Cox and Susannah Salt registered September quarter 1907 in Dudley.
28 Factory Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Samuel Cox (28, Bricklayer, born Tipton), his wife Susan (24, born Tipton), and their two daughters: Phoebe (4, born Tipton), and Mary (1, born Tipton). Two further children were born before Samuel's death in 1917.
Samuel was a married man with 4 children, and had been employed as a bricklayer. He enlisted with the South Staffs in September 1914, he first saw service in Gallipoli, then Egypt, and from mid-1916 in France and Belgium.
After Samuel's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/17/8d (4 pounds, 17 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Susannah, in November 1917. His War Gratuity was £12/0/0d (12 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in October 1919. Samuel had enlisted in September 1914.
Samuel is commemorated on St. John's Memorial as just S. Cox.
The Battle of Messines commenced on June 7th 1917 at 3.10am with the explosion of 19 out of 21 mines under the Messines Ridge, about 4 miles south of Ypres. Successful capture of the ridge would give important strategic command of the west flank of the Ypres Salient before the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) commenced on July 31st 1917.
The 7th South Staffs were loaned to the 16th (Ulster) Division for the duration of the battle. They were to be in reserve for the action, but due to the late arrival of other troops, two Companies advanced in the first wave. The day was a total success with an estimated 10,000 Germans killed in the explosion, and the infantry attaining all objectives. Unfortunately this gave a falsely optimistic outlook for the coming Third Battle of Ypres.
On the next day, June 8th, the Germans shelled the 7th South Staffs position heavily, the 7th South Staffs had 8 men recorded killed on that day, including Private Samuel Cox. All 8 have no known grave and are commemorated on the Menin Gate.
If you require further detail...
The War Diary entry for June 8th for the 7th South Staffs is as follows:-
Enemy reported massing on our front. A patrol strength of one platoon under 2/Lt. HIGGS was sent out to reconnoitre in neighbourhood of VAN HOVE FARM. The patrol was much troubled by snipers, but was unable to locate the enemy in any force. Having cleared the ground of snipers in this vicinity, it returned to the support line.
Battalion came under heavy shellfire, and was temporarily thinned out in the trenches then occupied, whilst a reconnaissance was made for further positions. The 6th BORDER Regiment was withdrawn right back, & the Battalion was ordered to move into the Support Trenches vacated by them under cover of darkness.
The day was quiet, but at 8.45p.m. our position was heavily shelled. The Commanding Officer - Lt.Col. D.T. SECKHAM, D.S.O. was amongst the wounded. Capt. F.B. MORRIS temporarily assumed command."
Tipton Herald June 23rd 1917
SIX SOLDIER SONS
Mr William Salt, who lives at the top of Owen Street near the canal side, holds an enviable record in Tipton, for the whole of his six sons are in the Army. (--more detail is available--). He is 63 years of age, and to a large extent is crippled. He was born in Tipton, and has lived in Tipton all his life. He last worked at the Tipton Gasworks. A regrettable circumstance is that his married daughter heard only a few days ago that her husband (Sergeant Samuel Cox) had been killed in action. There are 4 children.
Tipton Herald August 4th 1917
ANOTHER TIPTON SOLDIER KILLED IN FRANCE.
Private Samuel J.R. Cox
Private Samuel Joseph R. Cox, of 28 Factory Road, Tipton, and of the 7th South Staffords, is another Tipton soldier to give his life for his country on the great Western Front. He leaves a widow and 4 children, while his aged mother resides a few doors away. The widow's six brothers are all in the army, but one is in hospital totally incapacitated from further fighting. The deceased soldier was formerly a bricklayer, employed by Tranters of Princes End, and he joined the army in the patriotic rush in September 1914. He was wounded in the Dardanelles. After seeing much fighting in France, he met his death there on June 8th (Editor: actually Belgium). He has a brother in France.
The widow received a letter from the Captain of the company, saying:- "I owe it to your husband to write you, as ever since I have known him he has done his work well and has shown a brave face to the enemy. No words of mine can be much consolation to you in your great loss, but please let me know if I can be of any service to you."
The Lieutenant of the company in his letter to the widow, states that two other soldiers were killed, and four wounded by the same shell. Death was instantaneous. "Your husband was a very valued member of my Lewis Gun team" he adds.