COOK, Harry Arthur

No.20819, Private, Harry Arthur COOK
Aged 24

1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Killed in Action presumed on Sunday, 24th September 1916

Harry Arthur Cook was born in Wickhambrook (Risbridge Q2-1892 4A:710), first son of Henry and Jane COOK (née ALCOCK).
There is room for confusion here as Henry COOK married Jane ALCOCK (d.of Henry and Keziah Alcock) in Q2-1890 Risbridge 4A:921, and Charles COOK married a Jane ALCOCK (d.of Robert and Eliza Alcock) in Q4-1894 Risbridge 4A:1185

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Ashfield Green, Wickhambrook with his father Henry COOK [30] horsekeeper on farm born Depden; his mother Jane [30]; sister Mabel [10] and brothers John [7]. Charles [4] and Frederick [1]. All except his father were born in Wickhambrook.

1911 census...Aged 19, farm labourer, he was at Ashfield Green with his parents (father now recorded as born in Wickhambrook) and brothers John Charlie(both farm labourers) and Fred; sisters Elizabeth [7], Mary [5] and Alice [2]. All the new siblings were born in Wickhambrook, and all seven siblings survived.

According to a grand-daughter ? still living in Wickhambrook, the family were at No.1 Applebrook.

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds less than a year before his death. From his regimental number he must have enlisted the same day as Arthur Eagle.
The 1st East Surrey on 24th September 1916 (they lost 7 killed that day) were readying themselves for an attack NE of Ginchy on the 25th. A very comprehensive war diary report on operations on 24th/25th September 1916 can be found here

Harry was killed along side Arthur Eagle, see here

The Bury Free Press of 25th November 1916 reported:-

Mr. George Eagle, of Wickhambrook recieved a notification from the War Office on Friday that his son,Prvt Arthur Eagle was reported missing from the 24th September last.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cook, of the Duddery, Wickhambrook have also received a similar message, stating that their son, Prvt Harry Cook was reported missing from September 24th last. Both were serving in the same regiment in France
Mr.Alfred Wright, of Wickhambrook has received a letter from the War Office stating that his brother Prvt Henry Wright, had been wounded in action and was in hospital.

Sadly the first two men are now amongst the missing named on the memorial at Thiepval, but Henry Wight appears to have survived

The Bury Free Press of 24th February 1917, still nothing definite :-

We are reproducing herewith the photos of two stalwart Wickhambrook men, who we regret to say, have been missing for some considerable time. Both were attached to the 11th Platoon of the 3rd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. They are Prvt Arthur Eagles and Prvt Harry Cook........No news of either has been heard since Sept.24th last

The objective of the 1st E Surreys on 24th/25th Sept 1916

Harry Cook is commemorated on the Thiepval MemoriaL, pier and face 6B/6C

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