George Wilcox (1838-1908) was born in St Neots, Huntingdonshire, the second son of Joseph Wilcox, a master tailor/draper who employed seven men. In 1850 George started work in a local grocery business, and subsequently served a five year apprenticeship in the trade. In December 1857, at the age of 19, he sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne on the Royal Charter, landed in mid-March 1858 and reached Adelaide a week later.
His elder brother Thomas, a draper like his father, had preceded him by migrating to Gawler. George first took a job there as a clerk at 20 shillings per week, but in September 1858 he established a small grocery shop in Murray Street. Two years later he merged with the Barker & Wilcox drapery to develop it into a general business based on grocery and drapery under the name of J and G Wilcox. His father was the financial partner, but he never came to Australia. The enterprise became extremely successful, and his younger brothers Emery and Joseph also migrated to Gawler to work on the drapery side of the business.
Researched by Ron Roberts, Adelaide, South Australia