Cox, William

Cox, William


H.M. Water Tank Progress, Royal Naval Reserve

Drowned at sea on Thursday 21 December 1916 (aged 38)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Chatham Naval Memorial (Panel 18)

Malone Presbyterian Church Belfast

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


In the 29 December 1916 edition of the County Down Spectator it was reported that William Cox, a Bangor officer, had been lost, believed drowned, on 21 December 1916.  Sympathy was expressed to his widow Maud Cox (nee Armstrong) and their two young children:

Terence Dickson Hall (born 25 May 1908 in Benavon, Antrim Road, Lisburn and, at the time, his father – a sea captain – was in Singapore)

Norah (born Singapore SS)

In 1916 the Cox family was living at 41 Southwell Road, Bangor.  Only two weeks earlier Sub-Lieutenant William Cox had been home on leave and had spent a few days with his family in Bangor.

In 1911 the Cox family was living at 585 Lisburn Road, Belfast.

William Cox was born on 23 June 1878 at 20 Mornington Street, Belfast and he was a son of Thomas and Sarah Cox (nee Dickson) who were married on 8 June 1877 in Fisherwick Place Presbyterian Church Belfast.  Thomas Cox, a gilder from Norwood Street, Belfast was a son of James Cox, a linen lapper.  Sarah Dickson from Willow Street, Belfast was a daughter of William Dickson, a carpenter.

Thomas and Sarah Cox (nee Dickson) had three children:

William (born 23 June 1878 at 20 Mornington Street, Belfast)

Jane Isabella (born 9 August 1881 at 123 McClure Street, Belfast)

Annie Grace (born 1 March 1885 at 7 Ratcliffe Street, Belfast)

William Cox and Maud (sometimes Maude) Armstrong were married on 12 June 1907 in Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church Belfast.  William Cox from Belfast was a son of Thomas Cox, a merchant.  Maud Armstrong, a teacher from Belfast was a daughter of Robert Armstrong, a tenter.

William Cox was a native of Belfast and he was formerly employed in the Corporation Gas Office.  Subsequently he chose the sea as a profession and served his apprenticeship on the old Belfast-built four-master Walter H Wilson.  Afterwards he served as an officer on the Port Denison trading between London and Australia.  Then he joined the Straits Steamship Company Singapore in which he rose to command several mail steamers.

When war broke out he was in home waters and at once volunteered for the Royal Navy.  He obtained a commission in the Royal Naval Reserve and commanded various craft in the North Sea.  He was 38 when he was drowned at sea on 21 December 1916 (reports vary as to the fate of H.M. Water Tank Progress that day) and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial; in Malone Presbyterian Church Belfast and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 124).