WW1 Victory Medal. Casualty, Gallipoli. Cox. Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Carnarvonshire & Anglesey Bn) Upper Bangor. Died at sea.

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Correctly named 1066 Pte W Cox RW Fus

William Cox was born in Marylebone, London to John & Lena Cox in 1890.

By 1911, he is living with his family at 30 Albert St, Upper Bangor, North Wales. His father is a railway bridge painter and William is a railway masons labourer.

William served with the 1/6th Bn (Carnarvonshire & Anglesey) RWF. These were a part of the 1st North Wales Infantry Brigade, 1st Welsh Division.

Having moved from Conway to Northampton in late 1914, the Battalion prepared forgoing overseas. They went alongside the 1/5th Bn on the 9th of July 1915. They headed for Gallipoli via Lemnos and Imbros.

The amphibious landing took place at Suvla Bay on the 9th of August 1915 straight into immediate heavy bombardment by the Turkish soldiers.

At 6am on 9 August 1915 the men of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers including the Penmaenmawr company landed on “C” Beach, Purnam/Kuchuk Kemikli, the south west point of Suvla Bay, Gallipoli (and remarked that it looked like Penmaenmawr Bay). They bivouacked overnight to the west of Lala Baba. They were issued with 200 rounds per man and 1 day’s rations.

At 3am on the 10 August they were given hot tea and at 4.30am moved forward with the 158th North Wales Brigade which was composed of the 5th, 6th (including the Penmaenmawr company) and 7th Battalions of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the Middlesex. They crossed the Salt Lake and advanced in an easterly direction in open formation, heading for Scimitar Hill which lies between the Salt Lake and the Anafarta Ridge. They then moved forward in a south easterly direction and the 159th Infantry Brigade passed through. At 10am there was a note to the commander of the 6th RWF to bring up men to rush Scimitar Hill, by 11am they were about 200 yards away in oak scrub. At noon the 5th RWF charged up the hill 200 yards in advance of the 159th’s trenches, while the 6th reinforced them. They encountered Turkish shrapnel and machine gun fire, when they took the hill Lt Colonel Basil Philips of the 5th was hit in the neck and died instantly. Following the heavy fighting, by the end of the day, there were heavy casualties and the company of men that had worked together at the Pen slate quarry no longer existed.

By the 15th they were in the fire trenches having zero restpite since their landing. They were relieved by the 2nd Royal Fusilierson the 22nd of August 1915.

During that 13 days of fighting, William was wounded. He makes it aboard Hospital Ship Nerassa where he dies from his wounds on the 21st August 1915.

He is remembered at the Helles memorial and also is named on a plaque to men who died from the Bangor Railway once hung in the Bangor Railway Institute prior to its demolition. This plaque was moved to St Davids Church, Glanadda and when that closed, it was moved to Bangor Railway Station.

William is entitled to a 15 Star Trio. The Victory Medal is on a long length of original silk ribbon.

 

 

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