|John Cox was 23 years old and single when he joined the Bucks Constabulary, he was 5ft 8in tall with brown eyes and brown hair (visage - oval). He was of proportionate build and had a tattoo on his right hand and arm. Born at Twyford Reading Berks he was a Labourer (plate layer) employed by David Clarke inspector of the Great Western Railway at Salthill, Slough.
P.C. John Cox died of Anthrax contracted on the 24th July 1893 he died on the 26th July the same year. Whilst helping to dispose of some bullocks at a farm in Haversham, he cut his hand slightly. The deadly disease anthrax infected the cut and within only two days of the incident he died. The disease broke out in a herd of Hereford cattle owned by a Mr. William Scott of Mill Farm.
Anthrax is a disease associated with animal contact, mostly farm animals such as sheep, goats, horses, swine and in this case cattle. It is rare these days in this country but still exists in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Today the disease can be treated with some success using penicillin but, unfortunately for John, penicillin had not yet been discovered. It was not until 1928 when Sir Alexander Fleming was to discover the drug.
The local paper described John as a “smart young officer who was much respected by his comrades and the general public”. His funeral took place on Saturday 29th July at his hometown of Twyford and was attended by officers and men from the Buckinghamshire Constabulary.
His widow Thirza received a gratuity of £39.4.0 from the Force before she returned with her two boys to Twyford, the place where she and her husband first met.