PRIVATE RAYMOND NATHAN WILCOX

No 291518 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Raymond Nathan Wilcox was born in Church Bank Montgomery to Nathan and Mary J Wilcox, and in 1901, his father is described as working as a Woodranger. Prior to enlisting, Raymond was still living at Church Bank in Montgomery, and working as a baker. His parents were by then living at Lower Lane Chirbury, some two miles from Montgomery.

There is some information available about Raymond, including his enlistment papers, where it shows he enlisted at Wrexham, and was hoping to work in the army in his trade as a baker. Instead, he found himself in the Egyptian Theatre of War fighting alongside his Montgomery colleague, Albert Jones, who was killed on the same day. From the date of his death is would appear that Raymond was fighting in Gaza, as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the First Battle of Gaza at the end of March 1917. Raymond Wilcox was killed in action on the 26th of March 1917, aged 20. His body was recovered and he is buried in the Gaza Cemetery. The document below shows the inscription his mother chose to have placed on his grave (4th record down) and the cost, 5 shillings and threepence (literally 26 pence in decimal coinage, but the equivalent of a quarter of a week’s wages then) “Forever with the Lord” This document shows the original name of the War Graves Commission, that of the Imperial War Graves Commission, which remained in force until 1960, when it changed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.