Richard James Fox was born on 11th December 1893 in Kentish Town, north London. He was the son of Richard, a labourer, and Mary Ann Fox. In 1901, Richard was living with his family at 3a Ray Lodge Road. In 1911, the family had moved to Noah’s Ark Cottage, Chigwell Road, Woodford. Richard was working as a market gardener along with his father. Richard’s parents later moved to 39 Globe Road, Snakes Lane, Woodford.
Richard enlisted at in Stratford with “B” Company, 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. In the autumn of 1914, the Germans planned to advance and take the channel ports. In what was known as the ’race to the sea’, the allies kept outflanking them to prevent this. On 11th November 1914, the Germans attacked a far weaker British force at Nonne Bosschen.The Northumberland Fusiliers were located in the open to the south-east of Weldboek Wood, facing the 4th Prussian Guards, Grenadier Regiment. The latter - essentially Palace Guards and not fully trained combat troops - were cut down by British rapid rifle fire. The Germans came very close to breaking through the lines but they failed to recognise and take advantage of tactical opportunities.
However the Germans inflicted six fatal casualties on the Northumberland Fusiliers, one of whom was Richard Fox. He has no known grave. Richard’s name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Summaries of Battle of Nonne Bosschen