Outside the family he was usually known as Joe. This was a nickname he inherited from one of his old…
Outside the family he was usually known as Joe. This was a nickname he inherited from one of his older brothers at school. Inside the family he was Billy, to distinguish him from his Uncles Bill and Will.
In 1921 he was involved in an accident when the horse drawing the fire engine was frightened and crashed through the rail into the river Test at Stockbridge. Two boys were injured and the ambulance was called and rushed them off to hospital. Only then did someone notice a shoe protuding from the water. The child (William Cozens) was pulled from the water unconscious, but was revived by artificial respiration and proved none the worse for his ordeal. See newspaper cutting.
Educated at Andover Grammar School and at Winchester Art School. Saw service in the RAF during the Second World War where he was involved in the development and deployment of radar. Spent the latter part of his war service in India. Demobbed in 1946. Resumed his career as Art Master at Ilminster Boys Grammar School.
He was a very fine chess player. The Chard & Ilminster News reported on 8/4/1950, "The powerful Taunton chess team, which has just won the Somerset Chess League for the third time in four years, has been assisted by two Ilminster players - W H Cozens, who has played throughout the season without a defeat, and P F C Burke, who came into the team in February." He was the chess champion of Somerset in 1952 and 1954, the only two years he entered the competition. He didn't enjoy travelling and in later years was the mainstay of the Ilminster Chess Club team.
He achieved a BSc in Pure Maths, Applied Maths and History of Architecture in 1953. Then found his experience was so narrow that no other school would take him on promotion. Eventually he became Head of Maths Department when Mr Maher was appointed Deputy Head, and acting Deputy Head when Mr Maher became acting Head. The school closed in July 1971, one term before he was allowed to retire. He joined the staff at Wadham School in Chard for that term, and taught part time until July 1972.
In his spare time he was a voracious reader. He wrote a number of books on chess. He even translated a book by Dr Max Euva from Flemish into English for publication, even though Dr Euva spoke excellent English himself. He did this without knowing a word of Flemish before he started, simply from his knowledge of chess.