Eighteen year old Thomas enlisted at Inverell on 10 January 1916 and joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left Inverell two days later. He had been working as a Labourer at Coolatai, north of Inverell. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, C Company which trained at Armidale and Rutherford. Unfortunately he was one of many men who became ill in camp so did not leave Australia until September 1916. His Battalion was part of the 3rd Division which trained in England prior to being sent to the Western Front in France in November.
Thomas was promoted to Lance Corporal in April 1918. Shortly afterwards he was gassed and invalided to England for treatment. Three months later he returned to his unit in France and was wounded again in August. For his efforts at this time he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty’. He ‘captured two guns and fourteen prisoners’ and then continued on to assist ‘in the capture of 24 prisoners.’
Lance Corporal Cox returned to Australia in May 1919 and was discharged in September. His name is inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.
Photo: private collection