Memory Lane: Prisoner’s trinket box given to Army by Grantham woman

Babette Hay presents the WW1 trinket box to  2nd Lt Kyle Forsyth and Private Jordan Hill, of The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment 'The Poachers', in the Mayor's Parlour in the Guildhall in Grantham.
Babette Hay presents the WW1 trinket box to 2nd Lt Kyle Forsyth and Private Jordan Hill, of The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment 'The Poachers', in the Mayor's Parlour in the Guildhall in Grantham.

A First World War trinket box with an intriguing story behind it has been donated to the Army.

The box was carved by 2nd Lt William Charles Cecil Cox while in a German prisoner of war camp. But while there, it was reported that he was missing in action and presumed dead.

Lt Cox, who served in the Lincolnshire Regiment, was reported missing on March 4, 1917, by the Grantham Journal in an edition dated April 4, 1917. He was presumed killed in action after a battle on the Western Front, following an attack at 5.15am.

However, he was captured and held prisoner in a POW camp at Colberg in Germany.

2nd Lt COX is the uncle to Babette Hay, aged 96 of Manthorpe Road, Grantham.

Mrs Hay has no direct family and wanted to present the wooden trinket box which was hand carved whilst her uncle was held prisoner.

On Friday, she presented the box along with the newspaper cutting and photographs to 2nd Lt Kyle Forsyth and Private Jordan Hill, both of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, ‘The Poachers’, based at Kendrew Barracks.

Second Lt Forsyth carries out the same role as 2nd Lt Cox did nearly 100 years ago.

Pte Hill comes from Grantham and is a former member of Grantham 47F Air Cadets. Second Lt Forsyth said: “Pte Hill and I are honoured to receive these photographs and woodcarvings of Lt Cox of The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment on behalf of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment from Mrs Hay.”

Pte Hill and 2nd Lt Forsyth are pictured receiving the box from Mrs Hay in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Guildhall in Grantham.