On the 15th
March 1917, the 7th Bn Bedfordshire Regiment (18th
Division, 54th Brigade) launched an attack against
the German defence lines to the south of the village of Achiet-le-Grand.
In the course of the fighting, a stretcher-bearer named
Christopher Cox distinguished himself by his courage and
tenacity. Risking his own life, he went to the rescue of many
wounded men in the face of shell and machinegun fire.
was recommended for the Victoria Cross (VC) and his
official citation was published in “The London Gazette” on the
11th May 1917.
Two months later at
the battle for Cherisy he was wounded by two bullets in his left
foot and repatriated to England
King George V
decorated him on 21st July 1917 at Buckingham Palace.
Aged 64 Christopher
slipped on the roof of the factory where he worked; he fell
through a skylight and landed two floors below. It was several
hours before he was found immobile and in pain. The accident
marked a decline in his health and he spent most of the rest of
his life in hospital.
Christopher Cox died
in April 1959 in St Albans hospital, aged 69 years.
From 2nd Lt
F.E. Dealler of the 7th Bedfords
“On the 13th
March I saw Private Cox on several occasions in and about the
Loupart line, always either vigorously searching for wounded or
carrying cases quite oblivious to the heavy bombardment.
morning of the 15th March ‘B’ Coy was advancing over
Hill 130 in support of the leading companies facing Bihucourt
line. I saw Cox come over the Hill in rear of me undisturbed by
the fact that he was being fired at as an individual target. He
told me he had just bound up five men and asked where he could
find more work. He did not wait to be told but went straight
saw him carrying a wounded man near the Star Crossroads (to
south Achiet-le-grand) where fire from both artillery and M .G.
was very heavy. The wounded man made a violent spasmodic
movement and brought Cox to his knees. I was told that this was
owing to the fact that he was hit again by M.G. Cox got up and
after his own Company had withdrawn from the front line, I saw
him go up again towards the front line through M.G. fire though
I believe all the wounded of his Company were already back.