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Person Details
Percy George was the son of William and Elizabeth Cook (née Chambers). His father William Cook was born in East Kirkby, Nottinghamshire, in about 1861. In 1881 he was working as a railway fireman and was a boarder in the household of Eliza Watson, a widow, at 48 Bruce Grove, Kirke White Street, Nottingham. His mother Elizabeth Frances Chambers was born in Lincolnshire. In 1881 she was living with her married brother, William, in Lenton, Nottngham, and working as a dressmaker. William and Elizabeth Frances were married in 1882 (J/F/M Nottingham) and probably had the one child, Percy George b. 1890 (O/N/D Nottingham). In 1891 William and Elizabeth were living on Cremorne Street, Meadows, with their son Percy (under 1 year). Elizabeth probably died in 1896 (J/A/S Nottingham) and in 1901 William, now a railway engine driver, was living at 106 Queen's Walk, Meadows. Also in the household was Elizabeth Smith (48) married, who was described as his housekeeper. His son Percy was living with his maternal uncle, William Chambers, and his second wife and their children at 9 Waterway Street, Meadows. By 1911 William and Percy (20), a railway labourer, were living at 16 Bruce Grove, Meadows. Also in the household was a Mrs Bradsy (30) married who was listed as a housekeeper. William later lodged on Derwent Street, Nottingham. He committed suicide in June 1918 (see 'Extra information'). Percy married Gertrude Abbey Fisher (b. 24 February 1883) in 1913 (A/M/J Nottingham) and they had two children, Clarence Percy b. 24 February 1913 and Florence Edith b. 26 May 1916. The CWGC record gives Gertrude's address as 3 Waterway Street. However, by 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled she and her children were living at 43 Waterway Street, Meadows. Gertrude was a warehouse cleaner, Clarence a hire purchase accounts clerk and Florence a hosiery worker. Gertrude may have died in 1964 (J/F/M Nottingham). Clarence Percy married Edna Goodman 'or Richardson' in 1947 (A/M/J Nottingham). He died on 5 November 1949. Florence Edith married Herbert J Walker in 1943 (O/N/D Nottingham).
Percy Cook was working as a railway labourer in 1911. He probably joined the army before the outbreak of war.
31 Jul 1917
1607616 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn Grenadier Guards
No 4 Coy 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards Percy George was killed in action on 31 July 1917. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 9 and 11).
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his widow Gertrude was his sole legatee. Nottingham Evening Post, 10 June 1918: ‘Nottingham Engine-driver’s Suicide. Mr CL Rothera, City Coroner, held an inquest at Leen-side Mortuary, Nottingham, on Saturday evening ,on the body of William Cook, 57, an engine-driver, employed on the Midland Railway, of Derwent-street, which was recovered from the River Trent, near the Pleasure Park, on Thursday. The deceased had a large stone tied to his neck, round which a piece of rope was coiled three times. His landlady said the man was a widower, and lost his only son about 12 months ago. He had suffered from neurasthenia and depression, and on Wednesday evening appeared somewhat strange in his manner, falling to sleep over his tea. Next morning he rose early and went out, and was not see alive again. A verdict of ‘Suicide during temporary insanity’ was recorded.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Neurasthenia - 'an ill-defined medical condition characterized by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability, associated chiefly with emotional disturbance.'
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