St John's Church, Stratford, E15
Rev. Canon Charles Fox (Curate 1935-1937, Vicar 1958-1978)

[Photo of Rev. Canon Charles Fox]
Rev. Canon Charles Fox
Born Wolstanton, Staffordshire 25th April 1908. He was born the fifth child of ten, to a Roman Catholic family.
He was educated at St Gregory's School, Longton and Longton High School, Stoke-on-Trent.
Began his working life as a delivery boy for Siddall's, a wholesale grocery company in Fenton, but aspired to higher things. He felt moved to join the Church Army and travelled around when able, on various missionary marches.
In 1927 he went to study at the Church of England College in Marble Arch and left in 1929.
In 1930 he went to St Aiden's College, University of Durham, completing his studies in 1933.
In 1933 he was ordained by the Bishop of Bradford at Bradford Cathedral, and went to St John's Church, Bradford as curate.
1935 married Annie (Nancy) Wakefield at St John's Church, Longton.
From 1935 to 1937 he served as senior curate at St John's, Stratford.
1937 appointed Vicar of Emmanuel Church, Lea Bridge Road.

On the outbreak of war in 1939, he went to serve as an Army Chaplain and spent the entire war in this ministry.
September 1939 Charles was posted to France, to the Maginot Line and Lille. He recalled eating tinned sardines for Christmas lunch!
1940 sent to Belgium as front line padre to Royal Fusiliers and Black Watch. He was evacuated from Dunkirk. His wife had received a 'missing in action' telegram. He was mentioned in dispatches by King George VI.
1941 He was on the Isle of Wight at the time of the Battle of Britain and was under machine gun fire on the beach. He was subsequently posted to the Royal Engineers' Chemical Warfare Regiment. In September, he was appointed Senior Chaplain to the Royal Armoured Tank Regiment and the 4th Hussars.
1942 Staff Chaplain at the West African Frontier Force HQ.
1943 moved to 61st Royal Armoured Corps.
1944 In France and Belgium. 12th Transport Column RASC.
1945 Demobbed following appointment as Commissary for Archbishop of West Africa.

1945 to 1958 Vicar of Emmanuel Church, Lea Bridge Road.
1958 to 1978 Vicar of St John's, Stratford.
In 1963 he was appointed Canon by the Bishop of Chelmsford.
Retired to live in Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent in 1978.
During his retirement he was licensed to serve in Lichfield Diocese and was very active in many churches in that area (Fulford, Dilhorne, St Michael's Stone) and was also on the duty rota at Crematoria in Stoke and Stafford.
He died in Newcastle under Lyme on 4th December 2000.

During his incumbencies in East London, no visit to the Potteries was complete without using his Wakefield family contacts to source china goods to sell at Bazaars back in London.
He set up the Ladybird Holiday Club and would organise coach trips to Europe for his parishioners.
He encouraged local business and tradesmen to give money to support the work of the church. The name Bill Reade might mean something to older parishioners. He (Reade) retired to Dovercourt and Charles and Nancy would spend Christmas with the family there.

Information courtesy of Jenny Haywood, niece of Canon Fox.

[Home Page] [Disclaimer] [Copyright Notice] [Privacy Statement] [Acknowledgements] [Contact] [Sitemap] [Top of Page]