Lance Corporal 9515 George Albert Cook

Killed in Action on Friday, 5th October 1917, age 22.
Commemorated on Panel 90 to 92 and 162 to 162A of Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Brigade of 7th Division.

Husband of Sarah Elizabeth Deakin (formerly Cook), of 35, Lower Church Lane, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 12th August 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/841133/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Albert Cook registered March quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
6 Limerick Passage, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
James Cook (43, Galvanizer, born Tipton), his wife Ann Maria (35, born West Bromwich), and their 3 children: Hannah Eliza (12, born Tipton), James William (8, born Tipton), and George Albert (6, born Tipton). Also William Cook (2, Nephew, born Tipton).

1911 Census
9 Court 8 House, New Road, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
James Cook (52, Galvanizer, born Tipton), his wife Ann Maria (45, born West Bromwich), and 2 of their 3 children: James William (18, Grocer, born Tipton), and George Albert (16, Galvanizer's Labourer, born Tipton).

Marriage of George A. Cook and Sarah E. Godfrey registered September quarter 1917 in Dudley.
Birth of their son George James Cook registered December quarter 1917 in Dudley.

Personal Data

The Tipton Library Memorial commemorates G.H. Cook, this is an error by the sign-writer as the 'Staffordshire Roll of Honour' shows Lance Corporal G.A. Cook, South Staffs.

After George's death his outstanding Army pay and allowances amounted to £2/9/5d (2 pounds, 9 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his widow, Sarah E., in February 1918. George's War Gratuity amounted to £14/10/0d (14 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Sarah in December 1919, by this time Sarah had re-married and was Mrs Sarah Deakin. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that George enlisted in August 1914.

George and Sarah Cook had a son, George James Cook, who was born after the death of his father. George junior was killed in WW2 whilst serving with the Royal Navy. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records: "Able Seaman George James Cook, P/SX 24798 HMS Royal Oak, Royal Navy. Died Saturday, 14 October 1939. Son of George Albert and Sarah Elizabeth Cook, of Tipton, Staffordshire".

Action resulting in his death

4th October was the Battle of Broodseinde, the third of Plumer's 'limited objective' offensives aiming to complete the capture the Gheluvelt Plateau and the occupation the Broodseide Ridge. The 1st South Staffs Regiment was east of Polygon Wood, which itself was east of Ypres, Belgium. They were to mount an attack whose objective was a level stretch of countryside consisting mostly of shellholes and pillboxes. The importance of gaining this ground was that it would protect the right flank of the Australians who were to attack the 'Broodseinde' position.

The attack commenced at 6am and progressed steadily according to the timetable; the right flank of the attack came under considerable machine gun fire and suffered many casualties. The South Staffs War Diary records that "a large number of Germans were shot and bayonetted; none of the pillboxes encountered gave much trouble." The Battalion advanced 900 yards over a frontage of 450 yards capturing 'Jolting House Trench'. An estimated 150 Germans were killed and 80-100 prisoners were taken.

During the 5th October, sniper fire from Judge Copse and machine gun fire from the area of Polderhoek caused considerable casualties. Heavy shelling commenced later in the day throughout the South Staffs area, and continued overnight. The 1st South Staffs were relieved on the night 6th/7th October.

During the action, the 1st South Staffords had 3 officers and 59 Other Ranks killed, over 200 men were wounded. This included 4 Tipton men who were killed: Private Thomas Gulliver and Lance Corporal Paul Griffiths on the 4th October, Lance Corporal George Cook on the 5th October, and Private Abraham Nicklin on the 6th October. None of the 4 men has a known grave, all are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

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