Rifleman Harry Fox, 7th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died of wounds on 4th April 1918. Harry was the fifth of the eight known children of parents George Blanford Fox (coachman and, later, farm labourer) and Sarah Ann (née Hughes) who married in George’s home parish of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1874. There was a ninth child, who had died by 1911, as had two of the other children – Fanny (born and died in 1874) and John (born and died 1877). The family moved to Solihull Lodge between 1875-1877 and lived there until at least 1911.
Harry was born in Solihull Lodge and was baptised at St James’ Church, Shirley on 9th January 1881. He attended St James’ School, Shirley, as did his sister, Mary Ann (born 1878). He became a coachman, and lived with his parents in Solihull Lodge until at least 1911.
By the time Harry joined the Army on 31st August 1914, he was working as a gardener and living in Yardley Wood. His parents moved to Sutton Coldfield sometime between 1911 and 1919. On 25th September 1915, Harry Fox was wounded in action and invalided back to England. He returned to the Front in December 1915, then was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station for three weeks in February 1916, suffering from tonsillitis. He had 10 days’ home leave in the UK in February 1917.
On 4th April 1918, he was posted as missing. His brother, George Albert Fox, wrote to the Army on 30th July 1919, saying that the family had not received any update and that it was causing his mother great trouble, not least because her husband, George Blanford Fox, had recently died and she was in difficulty financially.
Rifleman Harry Fox has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. He is also commemorated locally on Shirley war memorial.
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