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Captain C.V. Fox D.S.O. – WW1 Escaper

Contributed by Cameron Simpson

Recently I was researching a number of Scots Guardsman that were taken prisoner at Kruiseik near Ypres on 26 October 1914.  This was a time when the surrounding countryside around Ypres was still green and relatively untouched by war.  One of these Scots Guardsman, Captain C.V. Fox already stood out in as much as after three years of being held a prisoner in Germany he escaped and later had and audience with the King.  His abridged biography of a crowded life is as follows:

Schwamstedt Camp

FOX Charles Vincent: Born Dublin, Ireland 1877; Educated at Prior Park College, Bath and Pembroke College, Oxford University; He was a well-known rower and winner of the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Regatta in 1900 and the Wingfield Sculls 1901; Second Lieutenant 3rd Bn. Scots Guards 21.4.00; Lieutenant, Southern Nigeria Regiment (West African Field Force) 16.11.01; Southern Nigeria operations 1901-02 and 1904; Lieutenant S.G. 23.4.02; Local Captain whilst employed as a Company Commander in the Southern Nigeria Regiment; Mentioned-in-Despatches during the Bende-Onitshu Hinterland Expedition (L.G. 18.9.06): ‘Lieutenant (Local Captain) C.V. Fox., Scots Guards, did exceptionally good work and was very successful while in command of a column’ Captain S.G. 28.4.06; Egyptian Army 11.9.08; Sudan 1910; Political Officer in Mongalla Province 1911-13 taking part in the operations against the Beir and Anuak Tribes in 1912; He commanded the expedition that apprehended the American Ivory Trader James Ward Rogers in 1912; Awarded the Imperial Ottoman Order of Medjidie Fourth Class; 1914-18; Captain, 2nd Bn. S.G.; Operations in France and Flanders from 7.10.14; Officer commanding ‘Left Flank’ Coy 22.10.14; Awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) (L.G. 1.12.14) for gallantry at Kruiseik during the first battle of Ypres on 25.10.14: ‘Conspicuous gallantry at Kruiseik, in which action he captured five officers and 200 prisoners’.   

Schwamstedt Camp

Captured by the Germans at Kruiseik on 26.10.14 and was interned in Germany at Brandenburg Camp; Major (Although a prisoner) 1.9.15; He made three initial attempts to escape and was finally successful when he escaped from the Schwamstedt Camp in June 1917; He was received by His Majesty The King in July 1917 in honour of his escape; 3rd Bn. S.G. c. January 1918; Local Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Inspector General, Arab Levies 5.8.21; Reverted to Major 7.4.22; Reserve of Officers 13.6.23; Retired from the Reserve of Officers 31.12.27; at Died Milltown, Dublin, Ireland 8.11.1928.   

Schwamstedt Camp