1895 − 30 JUNE 1918

Researched and written by Janice HUNT

Enoch Hancox

Enoch Hancox

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Enoch HANCOX was born in Chasetown in June 1895 he was the youngest son of James and Lucy HANCOX who had sixteen children. Lucie born in 1872 followed by Martha, Thomas, Clara, Samuel, William, Rachel, Annie, James, Dora, Lucy, Albert, Amy, Enoch and Ethel. They had another son, also called Enoch, who was born in 1875 but died aged 4 months.

Enoch’s mother died in 1903 when he was 8 years old. He continued to live with his father and brothers and sisters and attended Chasetown Primary School in Church Street.

Enoch’s father James, was a miner who was born in Sedgley in 1852 and came to Chasetown in 1872 to work in the mines. James was known locally as “the Professor” he was a Liberal councillor who was a skilled orator and musician and was still working in the mines when he died in 1925 at the age of 73.

In 1901, Enoch was living with his parents James and Lucy, who were both born in Sedgley, and nine of his brothers and sisters in New Street, Chasetown. His father was a coal hewer, as were his older brothers Samuel and James.

Extract from the 1901 census

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James used to wear a frock coat and top hat and he delighted to heckle speakers at election time and proved himself invincible in debate. Probably the most recounted is where he clashed with George Bernard Shaw at a meeting in Walsall, and rendered the great man speechless.

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Enoch followed his father and brothers into the pits, he worked on the fly

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In his spare time he enjoyed participating in gymnastics and used to do displays with Chasetown gymnastic club, which was based at Chasetown Institute High Street.

Enoch Hancox is in the front row and on the far left

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Enoch left No. 2 pit and enlisted at Walsall, first in the South Staffordshire Regiment, then he was transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Field Artillery. He served with the 72nd Brigade, Ammunition Column as a driver.

Enoch was killed in action in Flanders on the 30th June 1918. His service records have not been found. There are no records of his death, but a family member believes his vehicle received a direct hit. 

Enoch is buried at the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez.

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Plan of Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez

Plan of Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez

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A memorial service was held on Sunday August 11th 1918 for Enoch and 240365 Private John Rochelle who died in India on 15 July 1918. The service was held at the Primitive Methodist Church where Miss Tinsley played the organ. There was a parade in the streets headed by the Cannock Chase Colliery band.

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Item, Source and Credit

1.   Photograph of Enoch HANCOX © Jim HANCOX

2.   Extract from the 1901 Census © Ancestry

3.   Photograph of James Hancox © Old Chasetown book (copy available to view on the Brownhills Bob website)

4.   Extract © Unknown

5.   Photograph Fly Pit © Jim HANCOX

6.   Photograph Fly Pit © Jim HANCOX

7.   Photograph Chasetown Gymnastic Club © Enoch HANCOX

8.   Photograph of Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery details © CWGC

9.   Photograph of Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery details © CWGC

10.  Plan of Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery © CWGC

11.  Photograph of Enoch HANCOX original grave marker

12.  Photograph of Enoch HANCOX headstone © In Memory website

13.   Commemoration Certificate  from CWGC © CWGC

14.  Newspaper article about the memorial service for Enoch Hancox © Lichfield Mercury

15.  Photograph of Enoch HANCOX © Unknown

16.  Enoch HANCOX Medal Roll Card © Ancestry

17.  Photograph Victory Medal ©

18.  Photograph British War Medal © Wikipedia

19.  Photograph of Chasetown War Memorial © Alan BETTS (BFHG)

20.  Photograph of one of the 4 war memorials on the outside wall of St. Anne's Church, Chasetown © Alan BETTS (BFHG)