An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten


No. 14272402 Corporal, Royal Army Medical Corps.

Died 30 October 1945, aged 23 years.

Buried in Tripoli War Cemetery, Tripoli, Libya,
Grave 8.F.11.

Tripoli became a general hospital centre for wounded Allied troops after it was finally wrested from the Axis forces in early 1943. Corporal Cocks died much later, however, at a time in 1945 when the war in Europe and the Mediterranean had been over for almost six months. The circumstances of his death at that time as a medical orderly are at present unknown, although his death certificate records the cause of death as a fractured skull. The Tripoli War Cemetery contains 1,369 British and Commonwealth graves.

Harry Cocks was the son of James and Gertrude Cocks, who lived in East Cleveland. His father worked in the local ironstone mining industry. Harry entered Coatham School as a fee-paying day boy in September 1933, aged eleven, joining Ingham’s House, in Form IIB. He was initially in the same form as Harper and Watson (q.v.). He played rugby for his house, the school Junior Colts and the 2nd XV. He also joined the school’s Officer Training Corps and left school in July 1939, having passed his School Certificate examinations that year. The school magazine of June 1944 had a report from his fellow Old Boy cousin Gunner E. Brown R.A. that Harry was “serving with the RAMC in Africa”. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1945.