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continued from the previous page:

 

From the Regimental History:

 

James Goulding enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment in London on 16 January 1883. His first impressions must mirror those of Will Cox almost exactly:

 

"Enlisted at St. George's  Barracks on 16th January 1883 for general service and posted to Devon Regt.

 

Arrived at Exeter, Devon on 17th and posted to Depot*. Soon got through knowledge of Drill and in July 1883 drafted from Depot to 1st Battalion stationed at Royal Barracks, Dublin. The only item of interest while at Depot was a great fire in Exeter which the Depot turned out to help. I believe the Mayor of Exeter sent a letter of thanks to O/C Depot. I among many got my serge tunic and trousers exchanged on account of damage.

 

Arrived Dublin 2 April 1883, posted to "E" Company, Devons - Lieutenant Gordon was the officer in charge of my company; my Company Sergeant was C/S Gullidge, a fine smart NCO, I thought. The other Sergeants were Mumford, Bell and Lee.

 

Got through Drill and became duty man in a month. Dublin at that time a stirring place on account of the murder of the Viscount**

 

* The Higher Barracks in Howell Road.

**Lord Frederick Cavendish was murdered as he crossed Phoenix Park with an Under-Secretary called Thomas Burke (an Irish Catholic) by members of a secret society called The Invincibles.

 

In July 1884, the Battalion HQ  moved to Newry and by June 1886 had made another move, this time back to Cork with a detachment being stationed on Spike Island in Cork Harbour. In 1887, the regiment was ordered back to England and the 1st Battalion joined the 2nd Infantry Brigade at Aldershot - all of this confirmed by Will Cox's Army Record which details some other fairly important events in his private life.

 

Like any good family story, Will's life has its mysteries and like any other family, the Cox's never discussed the details and nobody ever thought of asking questions while there were still people around with answers. As the official record shows, in 1885 William Cox married in Newry. It is said that he was what was then called "Low Church" and, at the time of his involvement with Theresa, was engaged to a friend of his sister's who was also of the same persuasion. The woman he married, however, was Theresa Goodfellow, a Roman Catholic with a son always known as James Goodfellow. The prior engagement was broken, William became a Catholic and the rest, as they say, is history. The Regiment's return to Cork was marked by the birth of Emma Charlotte Cox and the next move, to Aldershot, by the birth of William Samuel Joseph Cox. No prizes for spotting, by the birthplace of their third child, Charles, that the Devonshire Regiment soon moved on to India.

 

Other Ranks were not encouraged to marry. Peter Burroughs in The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army says that "the official roll for wives was restricted to six per 100 infantrymen, those "off the strength" receiving no acknowledgement or help from the army." Presumably the reasons for this attitude was the necessity for providing married quarters and pension support. Be that as it may, the Army did support William and Theresa and did supply married quarters for them and their growing family for a number of years and when William went abroad, Theresa and their children went alongside him.

 

Extract from the Service Record of William Cox

An extract from Will Cox's official Service Record detailing

his marriage to Theresa and their growing family

©William Wylie

 

CONTINUED

 

 
 
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