1917 - 2003

Hugh Brandon-Cox

Hubert Brandon Cox, known as Hugh Brandon-Cox, was born at Elmstead Market, Essex on 14 June 1917, son of Eva Nellie Cox (1896-1939), of no occupation, no father is named on his birth certificate. On 19 June 1921, 4-year-old Hubert was living at 50 Meredith Road, Great Clacton, Essex with his 24-year-old mother Eva, this was the home of his 55-year-old grandmother Ellen Mary Cox née Bridges (17 January 1864-1950), widow of Walter Hastings Cox (1866-1911), a painter, with four further of Ellen's children. Hugh spent a great deal of his childhood exploring the Essex countryside around the river Colne, being encouraged by his mother and grandmother, who took him on bird watching expeditions to the Essex marshes. In 1938 Hubert had joined the Royal Regiment of Artillery as a private (1519787) and served during the Second World War. Hugh married at St John's Church, Little Clacton on 24 June 1939, Elsie Mary née Shelley (born 19 July 1914). His mother died at Clacton in 1939 when Hugh, together with his first wife, remained living at 41 Cambridge Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex together with his grandmother, Ellen Mary Cox. After the war he went to live in Wiltshire where he founded a country magazine but later moved to Cambridge where he worked as a countryside and nature correspondent for a national magazine, often illustrating his articles with his own photographs. BBC television, ITV, and the Educational Foundation for Visual Aids commissioned him to make a series of educational films about life in northern Scandinavia and Brandon-Cox wrote and illustrated a series of books about his travels in Norway and the Arctic circle and later authored books including 'The Trail of the Arctic Nomads' (1969), 'Summer of a Million Wings' (1974), 'A Longing to Explore' (1976). In 1953 he married again and settled at Grove House, Blaxhall, Woodbridge, Suffolk with his second wife Karin 'Zsa Zsa' née Jakobsson and their two children Gabrielle and Hugh, jun. Well known for his watercolours of country scenes and wildlife and was a member of the Ipswich Art Club 1955-1957 exhibiting from Blaxhall in 1954 two watercolours 'The Dawning Spring' and 'Pheasant on Eggs'. Together with his Finnish third wife, Ullam-Aija Inkeri (10 September 1938-1977), he then settled at Blickling, Aylsham, Norfolk from where he began to progress his skills as an artist, encouraged by a successful exhibition of some of his paintings at a Thetford hotel. In March 1977, three years after their move to Kenninghall, Norfolk, his third wife, who was only thirty-seven, died of cancer. He married for a fourth time in 1981, Janet Christine Surridge (1930-9 December 2022) and over the next 20 years, they moved several times to different villages in Norfolk including Mundesley where he kept a small art shop selling his paintings, finally settling at Bessingham, near Norwich. Brandon-Cox spent most of his time touring the county making field sketches of landscape and wildlife before turning them into paintings. In 2002, he published 'Mud on My Boots', a personal account, illustrated with his own paintings, and his last book was 'Softly Wakes the Dawn', an illustrated anthology of extracts from his Countryman's Notes columns. Hugh Brandon-Cox died on 3 December 2003 and was survived by his wife Janet and by two sons and two daughters.

Works by This Artist