John Connor Knox was the only son of Charles and Mary Knox. He was born in Dungannon on 20th March 1899. He was the youngest of three children. His father died when he was two. He was educated at Brookfield School and Bangor Grammar School. He enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles in 1915, but was only 15. Shortly afterwards enlisted to train as a wireless operatos.On completion of his course he was posted to the Royal Engineers. In January 1917 he went out to the Western front. Arising primarily out of shell shock, he contracted an illness and was moved to London General Hospital. Sapper John Connor Knox was serving with the Royal Engineers when he died on 16th November 1917, aged 18.
John Connor Knox was the only son of Charles and Mary J Knox. Charles Knox and Mary Minnie Knox were married on 22nd February 1882 in Richhill Presbyterian Church.
John Connor Knox was born in Dungannon on 20th March 1899. He was the youngest of three children.
Known family: Charles Knox, Mary Minnie J Knox, Sophia Knox (born 21st May 1884, Cookstown), Kathleen Knox (born born 14th July 1896, Dungannon), John Connor Knox (born 20th March 1899, Dungannon).
The 1901 census records John as 2 years old, living with the family at Union Place, Dungannon. His father Charles was a woollen draper.
John’s father, Charles Knox, died of heart disease in the Dungannon area on 15th June 1901, aged 47. John was two years old.
The family later moved to Bangor.
He was educated at Brookfield School and Bangor Grammar School
The 1911 census lists John Connor as age 12, living with the family at house 2 in Rangurly Avenue, Bangor, County Down. He was still at school. John’s mother was a widow and gave her occupation as “Dividends”.
He enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles in 1915, but owing to his not then being sixteen years old his mother, fearing that he was not strong enough for active service, claimed him off.
Shortly afterwards the Government advertised for boys to train as wireless operators. Young Knox embraced this opportunity, applied, passed the rather searching examination with flying colours, and was sent to a training centre. On completion of his course he was posted to the Royal Engineers, in which corps he served (for over two years) till the time of his death.
In January 1917 he went out to the front.
Arising primarily out of shell shock, he contracted an illness while on duty in France in September 1917, which in the end necessitated his removal to London General Hospital.
Sapper John Connor Knox was serving with the Royal Engineers when he died of illness in London on 16th November 1917.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 19th November 1917:
Sapper John C Knox, Royal Engineers, died in hospital from illness contracted while on active service in France, was the only son of the late Mr Charles Knox, Dungannon, and Mrs Knox, Roxborough, Bangor.
From the Tyrone Courier and News dated Thursday 22 November 1917:
Sapper John C Knox, who was buried in Dungannon on Tuesday, died at the First London General Hospital from an illness contracted two months previously, while on duty in France as a wireless operator where he has served for a year and a half in the Royal Engineers. The deceased was the son of the late Mr Charles Knox of the London House, Dungannon, and of Mrs Knox, Roxborough, Bangor, was only eighteen and a half years of age. Rev Mr Thompson, Bangor, conducted the funeral service and the chief mourners were Mrs Knox (mother), the Misses Knox (sisters), Mrs M McQuillan and Miss Connor, (aunts), G Connor and J Connor, Lisburn (uncles).
From the Lisburn Standard - Friday, 23 November, 1917:
"KNOX -- November 16, at First London General Hospital, from an illness contracted while on active service in France, Sapper John C. Knox (Jack), Wireless Operator, Royal Engineers, aged 18˝ years, only son of the late Charles Knox, of Dungannon, and Mary J. Knox, Roxborough, Bangor. Interred in the family burying-ground, New Cemetery, Dungannon, on Tuesday. MARY J. KNOX."
Sapper Knox's remains were brought home and interred, amid many manifestations of sorrow and sympathy, in the family plot in New Cemetery (now Drumcoo Cemetery), Dungannon.
Sapper Knox does NOT have a CWGC gravestone. Sadly, the inscription on the grave surround is also now almost completely illegible.
Sapper John Connor Knox is commemorated locally on Dungannon War Memorial.
Sapper John Connor Knox is also commemorated on the WWI Memorial Plaque in Bangor Grammar School.
The CWGC record Sapper John Connor Knox as the son of Mrs Mary J Knox of Roxburgh, Bangor, County Down.