Fred Cox Yaroslavl

Fred Cox was an “engine fitter” in Tiverton, Somerset in the 1911 Census, aged 22. He was working for an oil engines manufacturer.


He died in Yaroslavl, Russia in 1917. A notice in the Evening Despatch and Birmingham Daily Gazette both on 7th May says that he died on 25th April.

We have two photographs of his funeral sent from Russia with a Russian description on the back and translation into English. These give the date of the funeral.


The death notice states that he was in Yaroslavl “on work for his country's cause”.

No official records have been found regarding his death nor the reason for him being in Yaroslavl. One possibility is that he was doing work for Crossley Brothers. Their website gives some information about their work in WWI:

Crossley Brothers

There was a proposal for the Russian government to build the 20/25 and the 15hp under licence at the BEKOS factory near Moscow and by Lebedev at Yaroslavl. At least one car was made at each factory but then the Revolution intervened. The Yaroslavl plant was completed and is still in existence today producing diesel engines.

The Russian Revolution took place in two parts the first being in February/March and the second in October/November.

According to the National Archives records 

The Crossley Brothers was formed in 1867 by two bothers, Francis William, (Frank) and William John Crossley from Dunmurry, County Antrim, in a workshop in Great Marlborough Street, Chorlton on Medlock.

In 1910, the subsidiary, Crossley Motors Ltd., was established.

russia 1

By 1913, the company had obtained contracts to supply 15/20, 20/25 hp. models to the Admiralty, War Department and the Russian Government. During the First World War, these vehicles, generally known as "Crossley RFC staff cars and tenders" were extremely successful in many theatres of war. By 1918, approximately 9900 of these vehicles had been supplied. Production capacity had been increased when the Crossley Street Works was opened. MS Papers 0170/1 of this archive includes photographs of the personnel, works and vehicles.