George Cocks


George Cocks was born on January 27th 1875 in Bredbury Cheshire to Richard Bond Cocks and Eliza Leah. He was christened on 14th March 1875 at St George's Hyde, by  which time they were living in Croft Street, Hyde.

George Cocks on ground 1914 Penally Glamorganshire

In 1891 he was a shop assistant in Castleton, Lancashire. By  1898 he must have enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers. At the time of his enlistment, he was living in Woodley, Cheshire. It is known he served in South Africa, during the Boer War, and in Borneo. In South Africa he contracted malaria, and was invalided home.

In 1911 he was in Multan in India (modern-day Pakistan)   and the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers as a Sergeant.

In 1914 he was a Sergeant at Penally, near Tenby, Glamorgan. He was promoted on the 31st August 1914, the notice reading: -Promotion C Coy No 6281 Sgt G Cocks promoted Color Sergeant. He was apparently in the 3rd Battallion at the time/

His regiment from 1914-1918 were in the East Riding from Aug 1914 to Nov 1918 as part of the Humber Garrison. When they arrived they were billeted in the Market Place in Hull and then moved out to a barracks in Hedon 5 miles East of Hull. He was at that time in the 9th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

His medal index cards record that his regimental number in the Lancs fusiliers was 6281 and in the Essex Regiment 50500

He was awarded the DCM on 03 Jun 1918 (as per London Gazette) as a Company Sergeant Major, acting Regimental Sergeant Major. The citation (issued later) read 

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. As C.S.M. his work has always been all that could be desired, and while acting as R.S.M. he rendered valuable service prior to and during an attack in the guiding and supervision of ration and ammunition parties.

 In 1918 he transferred to the Essex Regiment 10th Battalion as a Warrant Officer 2nd class.

He was killed in action on the 8th August 1918 in an attack near Gressaire Wood, near the Bray-Corbie Road. Expected support from tanks was not able to arrive, and 80 men were reduced to 15. It is likely George Cocks died at this time..


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An obituary from the Stockport Advertiser on 30th August 1918 read: -

Bredbury War Memorial


Coy. Sergeant Major GEORGE COCKS

of Bredbury (killed)


Official news has come to his relatives

at Lyndhurst Avenue, Bredbury, that

Company Sergeant-Major George Cocks,

Son of Mr Richard Bond Cocks of Bredbury,

was killed in action on August 8th. He

had been in the Army over twenty years.

He served in the south African War,

where he had malaria. When the war

broke out he was in the Lancashire

Fusiliers, but was transferred to the

Essex Regiment. The War Office

utilised his services for a long time in

the training of men in Kitchener's

Army, and in later armies. But

he was anxious to be amongst the fight-

ing, and repeatedly volunteered for the

front. He got in several drafts going

out on active service, but was fetched

back. He offered to forfeit his rank if

he could get out. At last he was allowed

to go. He was gassed, and afterwards

returned to France. He was about 44

years of age, and single. As a young

man he attended St Mark’s Church and

Sunday School.

His brother Private Richard Cocks, a

former well-known Bredbury hair-

dresser, has also been in France, and

been invalided to England with

trench fever




It is probable that the citation is referring to the massive German attack which started on 21 March 1918.

It is possible that the earlier reference to him being gassed took place around this time and, when he had recovered, he was transferred to the Essex Regiment.

For further details, see here

George had been engaged and after his death, his fiancée Edith gave birth to a girl, Edith.

An In Memoriam notice was put in the Manchester Guardian August 8th 1927, on the 9th Anniversary of his death

Cocks In ever-loving memory of GEORGE COCKS, C.S.M., 9th Lanc. Fusiliers, of Bredbury, Stockport, killed in France August 8, 1918.

  "Life is eternal, love still remains, and we in

  "God's own time shall meet again".

Hull, Yorkshire                                        From Edith and Edith

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