The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (164) Private Edward King Standish Cox, 4th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2021.1.1.70
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 11 March 2021
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Gerard Pratt, the story for this day was on (164) Private Edward King Standish Cox, 4th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War.

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Speech transcript

164 Private Edward King Standish Cox, 4th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF
Illness 13 December 1914
No photograph in collection

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Edward King Standish Cox.

Edward Cox was born in Rylstone, a small town in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, the son of Alice and Edward Standish Cox.

He grew up amid a large family, attended Mildura Public School and went on to work as a station hand. He also served for three years in the Colonial Forces.

On 17 August 1914 at Randwick, Edward and his younger brother, Myles, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.
The two were posted to E Company of the 4th Battalion. The battalion had just been raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war and was soon to leave Australia for overseas service. Edwards and Myles embarked at Sydney on 20 October 1914, traveling on the troopship Euripides bound for Egypt.

After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving in early December.
The 4th Battalion would go on to take part in the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, and then the attack on Lone Pine before being evacuated at the end of the year. Edward and Miles Cox, however, would not live to see Gallipoli.

While many Australian soldiers would die in combat, through accidents, or as prisoners or war, a considerable loss of life would occur due to disease and illness.
Terrible conditions in the trenches of the Western Front would lead to influenza, typhoid, trench foot and trench fever fevers. Viruses would spread quickly aboard crowded troopships, and in unfamiliar environments a simple cut could quickly become infected and develop into pneumonia. The influenza pandemic of 1918 would take more lives than four years of fighting.

Just as Edward and Miles Cox were among the earliest Australians to enlist, illness would cause them to be among the first to fall.

On 13 December 1914, Edward Cox died of pneumonia in Alexandria. He had been in Egypt for less than a fortnight. His brother, Myles, died of the same disease three days later.

Perhaps motivated by her brothers’ deaths, Sister Mary Standish Cox enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps in September 1916, serving in England and France before returning to Australia in 1919.

Today, Edward Cox’s remains lie buried in Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Alexandria.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died while serving in the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Edward King Standish Cox, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Duncan Beard, Editor
Military History Section

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