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This blog posting has been prepared by one of our volunteers, Ann Eales.

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A. Cook was the son of Mrs Cook of 49 Herrick Street, a Private in the South Staffordshire Regiment who was killed in June 1915, at the age of 20. He was formerly an employee of Gibbons of Church Lane, and was educated at Brickkiln Street Council School, all as reported in the Midland Counties Express edition of 25 Nov 1916.

The CWGC has

COOK, A

Rank: Private

Service No: 9188

Date of Death: 06/06/1915

Regiment/Service: South Staffordshire Regiment 1st Bn.

Grave Reference: I. E. 5.

Cemetery: GUARDS CEMETERY, WINDY CORNER, CUINCHY

The name A Cook appears on the James Gibbons Lock and Key Makers Memorial Plaque, which is to the employees of James Gibbons, St Johns Works, Church Street, Wolverhampton, who served during the Great War. The memorial is now kept in the Wednesfield Royal British Legion Club at Vicarage Road. The James Gibbons company archives, including their employee records, are held at Staffordshire Record Office.

There is a Medal Index Card for “Cook A, S.Staff.R, PTE 9188” which shows Date of Entry in Theatre of War France 2.2.15, and K in A 16.6.15. His initial “A” is written, like most of the entries on the card, in red ink, and has been completed in blue to make him “Alfred”, and the date of death entered on the card does not tally with that in the CWGC record, but as his Regiment and Regimental Number agree, this appears to be the same man. Unfortunately no further military records for him have been traced.

Albert Cook was baptised at St Andrews Church on 2nd January 1896. The entry in the Parish Register shows “Born May 8th 1895, Parents’ Names William and Emma Cook Abode Griffiths Br. Gt Hampton St., Trade Turner.”

In the 1901 census Albert age 5 is recorded at 12 Thomas Street, Wolverhampton living with his parents William, an Engine Fitter and Turner, and Emma and his sister Maud age 10. Both children are Scholars.

The 1911 census has Albert at the age of 16 living at 49 Herrick Street with his parents, Maud who is now 20, plus two more siblings Arthur age 8, and Ernest age 5. William is now a Machinist in the Motor Car Trade, and Maud is a Press Hand in the Lamp Trade, but no occupation for Albert is shown on the census form.

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