Private Clifford Earle Hitchcox was born in 1894 in Newbold-upon-Avon and was baptised at St. Botolph’s Church, Newbold-upon-Avon 22nd September 1895. His parents were Walter C. and Mary Ann Hitchcox. Walter Hitchcox was a Railway Guard and the family were living at 96 Abbey Street Rugby. Clifford was the 9th of 12 children. On the 1911 census he is given as working as an engineers clerk.
Clifford was an Old Murrayian and a member of the School Rugby XV and a member of the running team, in which sports he was very successful. He was also a member of the Holy Trinity Choir with his brother Bernard. After leaving school he worked for a time for B.T.H. Test Department and emigrated in 1912 to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with his elder brother Bernard, leaving from Liverpool on the Empress of Britain, 14th June 1912. They both enlisted with the 2nd Contingent of the Canadians. After a few weeks in England during which he visited his parents in Rugby on short leave he was sent to the front with a draft to reinforce the Canadians after their heavy losses a few months before and at the time of his death he had been nearly there four months. Mr and Mrs Hitchcox received the news that Clifford had been killed the 27th August 1915 from Clifford’s chum and chaplain, from whom they were given details of his death and added:
“In the evening Clifford was brought out with others and with his comrades round them by moonlight in our battalion cemetery, about a mile to the back of the trenches. Over the graves a cross will be erected, and marked and they will be cared for as much as possible. You will remember in your grief that Clifford died doing his duty bravely, as sons of British mothers do, and that will be some little consolation.”
His elder brother Edwin John had died of dysentery in the South African War.
A cousin of Clifford’s, Private Frank Handley of the 1st Royal Warwicks had also recently been killed.
Private Clifford Earle Hitchcox
Service No. 77821
Regiment Canadian Infantry
Grave/Memorial Reference ll. B. 4.
Cemetery/Memorial Berks Cemetery Extension Hainault, Belgium
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM