Hero’s treatment for daring raider

Octavia Hill Birthplace House, Wisbech. Unveiling of memorial to Flt Sgt Charles Cox ANL-140812-084441009
Octavia Hill Birthplace House, Wisbech. Unveiling of memorial to Flt Sgt Charles Cox ANL-140812-084441009

A Fenland Second World War hero who took part in a daring mission to remove vital German radar components has been honoured with a memorial.

Flt Sgt Charles Cox received the Military Medal and was mentioned in dispatches for his role in Operation Biting, a 1942 raid on a German radar station in Bruneval, France.

With bullets whizzing around his ears, Charles, who was regarded as one of the best radar mechanics in the country, ripped components from the Wurzburg station, which were needed for analysis and later helped to create mobile radar units for the D-Day Landings.

A memorial for Flt Sgt Cox, a cinema projectionist from March, was unveiled in the Hero’s Arcade in Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House, in South Brink, Wisbech, on Sunday.

The plaque was made by trust volunteers Margaret and Ian Milburn.

Flt Sgt Cox’s grandson, Darrin Parish, said: “It is great to have local recognition for him.

“It was a dangerous mission. I know two members of the team were assigned to make sure my grandfather did not fall into enemy hands because of his knowledge.”

Flt Sgt Cox was chosen for the 120-man raiding party because of his knowledge. He completed six months of parachute training in just two weeks and was part of a combined forces operation.

The raiding party dropped into Bruneval on the night of February 27 and met little opposition getting to the villa, which housed the Wurzburg.

Charles then began to get to work in identifying the components needed while under fire from the Germans.

His grandson said: “He ended up having to rip bits out because the screwdriver was not long enough.”

The troops were forced to take a German pillbox to get onto the beach before being picked up by the navy.

Charles went on to serve in Italy and North Africa and reached the rank of Warrant Officer.

He founded CWH Cox electrical shop in Wisbech, was married to Violet and had two children, Patricia and David. He died in 1997.

Peter Clayton, chairman of the trust, said: “It is a privilege for us to commemorate this outstanding Wisbech hero.”

n Red Beret, the film of the Operation Biting story, will be shown in Wisbech’s The Luxe cinema in the New Year.