Son of Henry and Annie Alice Cox: Husband of Edna Cox of Acton, Middlesex.
Died on the 23rd June 1944. Aged 25.
Buried at Benghazi War Cemetery.
Grave 3 A 3.
Harry Cox was born in London and grew up in Hythe, Kent. He was over 6 feet 3 inches and called Little Harry to differentiate from his father, Big Harry, who was 6 feet 4 inches. He was apprenticed to a cabinet maker and became qualified. A keen cyclist, he won medals with the Cinque Ports cycling club before the war. He played the piano and clarinet with a small dance band. When the war started he volunteered, hoping his skills would lead him to being a “Chippie” in the Royal Navy. In fact he was drafted into the Royal Engineers.
After fighting in France, he came back from Dunkirk wearing only the bottom half of his pyjamas, having been evacuated from a field hospital. After leave he returned to his unit and was sent to a Bomb Disposal Unit. He worked in London all through the Blitz, and eventually was offered a Commission, which he delcined. It would mean moving from the close-knit unit, who all knew and trusted each other. Their lives literally depended on each other.
He married Edna shortly before being posted to Egypt. Edna was barely five feet, and wore a tall, orange-blossom tiara to try and “bridge the gap” in their heights. There were no children.
In the desert, the unit was set to clearing mines. They hated this; bombs they knew; mines were more unpredictable. They were right. Their lorry went over a mine and was blown up.
Harry wrote regularly and receiving no letters created anxiety at home, but people said, in the manner of the time, “No news is good news”. It wasn’t — in the Autumn the dreaded orange envelope arrived. In due course it was noticed that Sapper Cox’s name was not on any war memorial. With the help of the Royal British Legion, this oversight was corrected and he is now recorded on the Hythe memorial on the Royal Military Canal bank.
Unknown however, Sappers G. Clarke, H. A. Cox, Lance Corporal H. Greaves, Sappers J.P. McDowall, J. Rushton and F. Wade all died at this incident.