Second Lieutenant, Sherwood Foresters (3rd Bn)
Born: August 19th 1893
Died: March 11th 1915
Age at Death: 21
Killed in action, France, March 1915
3rd Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) 2nd Lieut, 1914
Grave Reference: Pas de Calais LE TOURET MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L'AVOUE
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by The Coxon Family:
"A shared name but one sacrifice"
2nd Lieutenant William Hugh Coxon
William Hugh Coxon was born on 19th August 1893 in Derby. He was one of four children of Thomas William Coxon, a Solicitor, and his wife Edith Margaret (nee Cox) who lived in 109 Radbourne Street, Derby. Coxon entered the school on a Maths Scholarship funded by a firm called Bouch and Pochin in 1907. While a pupil he was an active debater, speaking in one memorable debate in favour of Home rule in Ireland. It is unclear what his occupation was between when he left school in 1911 and the outbreak of war in 1914. In September 1914 he volunteered for the Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment (the “Sherwood Foresters”) and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in January 1915.
He was killed in action with D Company 1st Sherwood Foresters at 4pm on 11th March 1915 at the Battle of Neuve Chappelle (10-13 March 1915). D company was attempting to charge German machine gun positions across a 100-200 yard stretch of ‘No Man’s Land’. In the course of the action D Company made four unsuccessful attempts to take the German position and one account of the action describes them as being ‘shot down like targets at a fairground’. He was among 9 officers of the 1st Sherwood Foresters who were killed out of 18 present at the start of the action, a further 7 were wounded.
Coxon is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France, Panels 26 and 27.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15