Elected F.R.S. 1954
Gordon Cox, who died in 1996 at the age of 90, had two distinct careers. The first, as a crystallographer and structural chemist, lasted from 1927, when he joined Sir William Bragg's group at the Royal Institution, to 1960, when he left the University of Leeds. He was a pioneer of three-dimensional methods in X-ray structure analysis. From 1960 to 1971 he was the highly regarded secretary of the Agricultural Research Council.
Cox was born on 24 April 1906 at Pretoria Cottage, Southdown, Twerton, in Somerset, where his father was a market gardener. Three years later his sister Christine was born. A third child, Kenneth, died in infancy. His father, Ernest Henry Cox, was born in 1884. He outlived two wives, married a third in 1941 and died in 1987 at the age of 103. Gordon's mother, Rosina Ring, was twelve years older than his father. They had married at Claverton, near Bath, on 29 April 1905. Rosina, one of many children of a chef, had been sent with two of her siblings to Canada to work on a farm in Ontario in the 1880s. She returned in 1895, and her son Herbert Moffat was born on her return to England. Gordon's family consisted of this elder half-brother, whom he worshipped, and the younger sister, with whom he often quarrelled. His mother often told him of the harsh life in Canada but she had also had some enjoyment there. She died in 1931.