Basil George Macpherson Cox was born 29 May 1899 in Stewart Island, New Zealand to George Mcpherson Cox (1861-1950) and Barbara Catherine Scollay (1861-1935) and died 12 August 1920 Mussel Beach, New Zealand of drowning.
When Basil died, the following was published in the Southland Times, 10 Aug 1920, page 5
- ACCIDENTS & FATALITIES
- FATALITY AT MUSSEL BEACH. TIMBER WORKER DROWNED. Yesterday Inspector Eouhy was advised by Constable Pont (Orepuki) that a young man named Basil Cox had been drowned at Bluecliff, near Mussel Beach, while he was loading stores on a launch belonging to the Marlborough Timber Company. The deceased’s mother lives in Invercargill, and his father works at Port Craig. The body was recovered shortly alter the fatality occurred. An inquest will be held.
The report on the inquest was published in the Western Star, 13 Aug 1920, page 2
- On Wednesday afternoon an inquest was held at Tuatapere touching the lamentable death by drowning of Basil Cox at Bluecliff landing. Mr C. C. Nicholas, J.P., was Acting Coroner, Mr W. S. Hunter appeared for the Marlborough Timber Company, and Mr T. O’Byrne appeared on behalf of the Sawmill-Workers’ Union. The evidence indicated that deceased was in the surf-boat at Bluecliff preparing to lower provisions into the lighter for transference to the launch, when, unexpectedly, six or seven large combers bore down on the surfboat which had been considered practically weather-proof. The surfboat was fixed with shore lines fore and aft, but, broaching side on to a huge breaking roller, was upset and deceased cast into the water. He was unable to swim, and was further hampered by being shod with gumboots. Charles Frederick Rouse, the marine-engineer attached to the launch, seeing his comrade’s danger, sprang Into the huge billows only to be borne back. unconscious face downwards in the -water among the rocks. The captain in charge of the launch, arriving in the nick of time from the store, discovered the body of Rouse stranded and uncovered by the backwash, and on inspection found him to be pretty far through. After some time he was brought round, and Wakefield proceeded to look for the body of Basil Cox, finding it further along the beach about an hour afterwards. Evidence of identity of the body was given by deceased’s father, and statements were made on the lines indicated by Charles Rouse and John Wakefield, and William Daly, the mill manager.
- All the witnesses, the secretary of the sawmill union, and the Coroner, were sati[s]fied that the Marlborough Timber Company had provided every reasonable precaution, and convenience for the safety of their employees at this death-trap. The jury, after deliberation, returned a verdict that deceased was accidentally drowned by the upsetting of a surf-boat, no blame being attachable to anyone. They added several riders. The first was that the Company be recommended "to place a line-and life-buoy on the landing at each end of the Port Craig Bluecliff run. Secondly, they recommended the gallant effort of Charles Rouse to save his mate at the imminent risk of his own life should be brought before the Royal Humane Society with a view to recognition by it; also that a similar appreciation be shown to John Wakefield for his efforts in reviving Charles Rouse and rescuing the body of deceased.
This memorial notice was published in the Evening Star, 10 Aug 1925:
- IN MEMORIAM.
- COX. In loving memory of Basil Cox, who died August 9th, 1920. I mourn for thee, my precious boy, As on through life I go; With aching heart for one so dear, While silent tears still flow.—lnserted by his loving mother.