CWG: Private Hubert Fox

Private Hubert Fox

Hubert Edward Fox was born in the spring of 1865, the youngest of five children to Alfred and Eliza Fox. Alfred was a baker, from Faversham, and it was in the town that he and Eliza raised their young family.

When he finished school, Hubert found work as a carter and labourer. He served in the King’s Royal Rifles for eight years, spending two of those stationed in Egypt.

In 1894 John married Elizabeth Rebecca Harris in their home town. The couple set up home in the Abbey Road, to the north of the town, and went on to have six children between 1896 and 1909.

When war broke out, Hubert enlisted to play his part once more. He joined up in 1915, and was assigned to the Royal Defence Corps. Private Fox was on guard duty at the Uplees Munitions Factory on 2 April 1916, when a series of explosions ripped through the base. The loss of life was horrific – more than 100 men and boys were killed – and Hubert was fortunate enough to escape serious injury.

In May 1918, Private Fox was invalided out of the army on medical grounds. He was sent to a hospital in Reading, Berkshire, returning to Kent after around six weeks. He was treated in the town’s nursing home, but never fully recovered from his illness: he passed away on 22nd August 1918, at the age of 53 years of age.

Hubert Edward Fox was laid to rest in the Borough Cemetery of his home town, Faversham, not far from the family home in Abbey Road.

At the time of Hubert’s funeral, his eldest son, also called Hubert, was reported as missing in action.

Hubert Jr had enlisted in the 10th Battalion of the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) in August 1915, embarking for France the following May. After two years, Private Fox Jr moved to Italy with his division, but returned to the Western Front just a few months later.

In April 1918, Hubert was reported missing in action; he was later confirmed to be a Prisoner of War, and was eventually released and repatriated home in December 1918.

Hubert found work as a labourer and night watchman; the 1939 Register records him living in his Abbey Road home with his mother. He died the summer of 1968, at the age of 71 years old.

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