Skip to main content

COX, George Frederick – emigrated 1910, returned 1933

George Frederick Cox (1890-1962) was born at Ebrington on 5th December 1890, the fourth of 11 children of William Cox and his wife, Alice Jane (née Bacon).  At the time of the 1901 census, he was a schoolboy living with his family at Ebrington.  A week or two later, the whole family moved to Belmont Terrace, Badsey.  Although only ten years old, George was not enrolled as a pupil at Badsey School as his younger brothers, John and Albert were.  In about 1903 the Cox family moved to Wickhamford. 

In 1910, George followed his older brother, Charles, to seek his fortune in Canada.   He left Liverpool on 18th March 1910 aboard the SS Victorian, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia where he arrived on 25th March.  Alberta Homestead records on Ancestry reveal that George obtained homestead entry on 5th April 1910 in the Calgary district on land which had been acquired by his brother.  He built a house on the land which he occupied from April 1911.  When absent from the homestead, he was living in the Calgary vicinity.  Under the Dominion Lands Act, once Crown land had been surveyed and officially declared available for settlement, individuals could apply to homestead a quarter section (160 acres) of their choice. Then, after paying a $10 filing fee and 'proving up' their homestead claim (occupying the land for at least three years and performing certain improvements, including building a house and barn, fencing, breaking and cropping a portion of the land), the homesteader could apply for patent (title) to the land.  A patent was issued on 12th February 1914 to George Frederick Cox of Scollard, Alberta.

 George joined the Canadian Mounted Rifles (No 117210) on 21st April 1915 in Calgary.  On enlistment, he was reported to be fit for service with the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force.  He departed with the Canadian forces from Montreal in October 1915.  He was mentioned in the 12th August 1916 edition of the Evesham Journal as being in France with the Eaton Motor Machine Gun Company.

Back home in England, in the first quarter of 1919, George married Dorothy Rose Winstone in the Evesham area.  William George, the first of their eight children, was born at Wickhamford on 25th April 1919 and baptised in the Church of St John the Baptist on 29th June 1919.

George, Dorothy and baby William left Liverpool on 23rd April 1920 and arrived at Quebec on 6th May 1920.  George, as a returned soldier, appeared in a separate place on the ship’s manifest to Dorothy and William; he described himself as a farmer.  According to the Ocean Arrivals form, he had been staying with his mother at Wickhamford and was going to his brother at Scollard, Alberta, where he had previously lived.  His intention was to stay permanently in Canada.  Five further children were born in Canada:  Charles Henry (1921), Ruth Irene (1922), Dorothy Elizabeth (1923), James Winstone (1928), Alice Mary (1931).

Soon after arrival in Canada, George applied to the Soldier Settlement Board for a grant and was given land at Delia, a village in southern Alberta.  The Soldier Settlement Board was established to assist returned servicemen to set up farms.  Having served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, George was entitled to assistance.  Applicants for a loan were first investigated as to their fitness, moral character, assets and abilities.  In November 1931 George applied for a patent.  However, it seems that George was unable to pay the loan thus, in April 1933, the land was transferred to the Director of Soldier Settlement.

George, unlike his brother, had never taken out Canadian citizenship.  The family returned to England a few months after this and settled in Wickhamford where his widowed mother still lived, and some of his siblings.  Charles, Ruth and James all enrolled at Badsey Council School on 6th November 1933.  Two more children were born after the return home.

George built a house on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, and named it Delia after the place where he had lived in Canada.  He started a village shop in the room to the left hand side of the front door (this house is adjoining the now defunct Post Office and shop).

George and Dorothy paid a return visit to Canada in 1958.  George died at Wickhamford on 1st August 1962; Dorothy died in 1995.