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  • Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
Person Details
Arnold
William was born at Arnold in 1893 the son of Hiram Cook a general labourer and Ann Maria Cook née Deborough, in the 1911 Census he is shown at Howitts Yard Front Street, living with his married brother Charles Cook, he is 20 yrs of age, single and a coal miner. Before the outbreak of the war he lived at 4, Boyd Terrace, Nottingham Road, Daybrook, a terraced house opposite the entrance gates to Arnot Hill Park. He father Hiram was born in 1846 in Arnold and his mother Ann Maria Desborough was born in 1850 in Woodborough, they were married on 6th July 1874 in Woodborough and went on to have the following children, Mary Ann b1875, Charles b1878, Harvey b1881, Harry b1881, Emma b1886, Hiram b1889 and William born 1893. His mother Ann Maria died in 1894 aged 44 yrs. His father Hiram was admitted to the Nottingham Asylum on 31st July 1920 and died there on 24th January 1921 , he was 75 yrs of age.
He was employed as a coal miner and was an amateur boxer, taking part in many local bouts
29 Apr 1917
26
759099 - CWGC Website
296501
Private
  • DCM DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal
13th Bn Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
He enlisted into the Army in 1915, joining the 18th (Service) Battalion The Sherwood Foresters but later transferred to the 13th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment he went on to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The award was gazetted in the London Gazette of 17th April 1917, and the citation for the award reads:- Early on the morning of the 1st March 1917, a party of 25 Germans attempted to raid a sap held by a post of six men, 13th Yorkshire Regiment, of whom Private Cook was one. The raiders came under a heavy barrage of heavy artillery and other shells which blew in the junction from the sap leading to the front line trenches. Several of the enemy started entering the sap and overpowering the garrison, Private Cook went through the barrage to obtain assistance and after calling out that assistance was required, he at once returned again through the barrage to the sap and engaged the enemy alone with bombs. Two of the enemy threw down their rifles and they all climbed out of the sap pursued by Private Cook followed by two other men of his battalion who had come up in the meantime. After a violent struggle the leader of the hostile party who was wounded, was captured, chiefly through Private Cook’s efforts, identification being thus obtained. Five of the enemy are known to have been killed and others are reported to have been wounded. Private Cook showed great initiative and gallantry. A short time later on 29th April 1917 he was killed in action , he has no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme
Article published 22nd March 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “AWARDED THE D.C.M. “GALLANTRY OF A DAYBROOK SOLDIER. “Private William Cooke, a native of Daybrook, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry while on active service. He formerly belonged to the Sherwood Foresters, but is at present serving with the Yorkshire Regiment. “Early one morning a party of Germans attempted to raid a sap held by a post of six men of the Yorkshires, including Private Cooke. The raiders came in under a heavy barrage of shells, which, blew in the junction of the sap with the front line trench. Nine of the enemy succeeded in entering the sap, and overpowering the garrison, but after passing through the barrage twice Private Cooke attacked the enemy alone with bombs. Two of the enemy threw down their rifles, and the remainder climbed out of the sap, pursued by Cooke and two other members of his regiment, who had just arrived on the scene. After a violent struggle the leader of the hostile party, who was wounded, was captured, chiefly through Cooke’s efforts. Five of the enemy were killed, and others were reported wounded. “Private Cooke displayed initiative and great gallantry,” observes his commanding officer, who forwards a description of the soldier’s bravery to the Mayor of Nottingham.” Article published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 18th April 1917 :- “A DAYBROOK HERO. “Private William Cooke, the York Regiment, who receives the Distinguished Conduct Medal, attacked a party of nine of the enemy single-handed, and captured the leader, after a violent struggle. At an informal gathering, at the Exchange Hall, Nottingham, yesterday, [17th April 1917] the Mayor Nottingham (Councillor J. E. Pendleton) pinned the decoration on Cooke's breast, and expressed warm admiration for the young man’s bravery. “After a short leave, Cooke, who is native of Daybrook, and originally, enlisted in the “Bantams,” is returning immediately to the front, or it had been the intention of the Mayor to ask Lord French to make the presentation, at the Albert Hall meeting, to-night.” Above articles are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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Photos

  • Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
    William Cook - Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
  • Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
    William Cook - Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
  • Photo showing the medal presentation of the Distinguished Conduct medal to William Cook Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
    William Cook - Photo showing the medal presentation of the Distinguished Conduct medal to William Cook Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
  • Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
    William Cook - Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley