COOK, William

No.320788, Private, William COOK
Aged 31

15th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 43862, Suffolk Regiment
"Soldiers Died" also has No 3037
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 6th November 1917

Some confusion initially but it appears what follows is correct It is known that his sole legatee was his Aunt, Laura Basham. There was an Anna Laura BASHAM (née COOK) [44] born Wickhambrook, wife of Alfred BASHAM [46] cowman born Poslingford living at Burnt Ash, Stansfield in the 1911 census and with her family were also her mother, widow Judith COOK [87] born Stansfield and an Alfred COOK [66], married farm labourer, born Denston. From that it may be deduced that the following is more than likely:-

George William COOK was born in Denston in 1886 (Risbridge Qtr 3 4a:628), son of George Edward Samuel and Sarah COOK (née GYPP or GIPP). His parents married in 1877 and there was one other son, Herbert, born 1882. His mother died in 1889

1891 census...William Cooke [4] at Giffords, Wickhambrook with his grandfather John COOKE [70] born Depden; his grandmother Judith [67] born Stansfield; his father, widower George Edward Sam COOKE [38] farm labourer, born Denston and brother Herbert [8] born Denston.

1901 census...William Cook [14] farm labourer, was at Giffords Cottages, Wickhambrook with his father George (recorded as married); housekeeper Emma CANT, [37] single, born Wickhambrook and her son David [11] and daughter Alice[2] and William's brother Herbert (farm labourer).

1911 census...He was at Bury Road, Wickhambrook with his father and stepmother Emma (née CANT); brother Herbert and stepbrother David CANT and step-sister Alice CANT.

The pension card for this soldier has father as Samuel COOK of 4 Lower Green, Denston. It appears this is George Edward Samuel Cook of the 1891 census
Nowhere in the records is shown a Stansfield connection, but being adjoining villages, this could be another boundary issue.

He enlisted in Sudbury.
The "History of the Suffolk Regiment" by Lt Col Murphy says that the 15th Suffolks were part of the 239th and 229th Brigade attack on the trenches and redoubts covering Sheria. Starting at 3 am they were stopped before daylight."B" Coy losing all it's officers. "D" Coy was brought up from Reserve, "A" and "C" moving east of Wadi Union. With support from a machine gun company the attack was resumed, this time taking all objectives. They had orders not to advance further. A considerable number of prisoners had been taken together with a battery on guns taken intact, which the Turks endeavoured to re-take, but unsuccessfully. The battalion were relieved in the evening.
CWGC records give 20 killed that day, all now rest in Beersheba War Cemetery. Only William Cook has no family details given.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Cook is buried in Beersheba War Cemetery, Palestine grave M:70
and apparently also named on the Denston war memorial.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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