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Soldiers of the Regiment

Private Stephen Cook

Private Stephen Cook, number 2086, 1st/5th Battalion, Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He died of wounds on 29th May 1915.

 

Letter written to home from Private Stephen Cook, number 2086, 1/5 Kingís Own. Postmarked 23rd February 1915.

To Miss A Cook
35 Balmoral Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, England. Postmarked 23 Feb 1915. British Expeditionary Force, 5th Kingís Own, Number 2086, Number 5 Platoon. c/o GPO London.
Dear Annie,
I suppose you will be thinking I am never going to write but I have arranged to write at last. We are billeted out in barns here. We had a ? train ride from the last place to here. It was rotten I can tell you. It was raining all the time I was nearly wet through.
We canít get any decent cigarettes here, they only sell French stuff, itís rotten, the tobacco in them is as black as coal. You can tell Willie and Harold to send me some Woodbines if you like. I canít get any here ? want a few to keep me going till we get payed. Well I shall close now so good bye for the present, I remain your loving brother.
Stephen.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Give these to Madge.
PS Please write back soon. The address on this letter will find me anywhere.



Accession Number: KO1924/02



Field Service Postcard from Private Stephen Cook, number 2086, 1st/5th Kingís Own. Postmarked 1st April 1915 and dated 30th March 1915.
Accession Number: KO1924/03

Letter home from Private Stephen Cook, number 2086, 1/5 Kingís Own. Dated 20th May 1915.
Three sheets hand script

20th May 1915
British Expeditionary Force, 5th Kingís Own R L R, B Company, 5 Platoon, Number 2086. C/o GPO London.
Dear Annie,
Thank you very much for the letter and more so the cigarettes. I had just two left when they arrived, I thought you had forgotten me though, you ask me why I donít put a letter in the paper. I am not chatty [?] yet, I will put on e in when I come back it will be a letter too I doubt a few of them will get chalked off, I have a fine tale to tell when I come home itís been like hell up here and I believe we go up to the trenches again on Sunday night, itís rather wonderful how I manage to be alive after what Iíve have gone through. I got a nice shaking up on the 8th May, I got blown up in the air and then buried with a Jack Johnson shell I went mad for about half an hour I did not know where I was going or what I was doing and my face was smarting something terrible. I donít want to go through what I have gone through in this last six weeks. Well I will close now so good bye for the present.
I remain, your loving brother, Stephen.
xxxxxxxxxxxxx for Madge.
Remember me to Will.




Accession Number: KO1924/01

Newspaper Articles relating to the death of Private Stephen Cook

Lancaster Observer Friday 21st May 1915
Private Stephen Cook, B Company, 5th Kingís Own, formerly postman at Caton writing to his father says: ďOn the 8th of this month I was blown up in the air two or three yards and then buried, I felt as if every bone in my body had been knocked loose I think I went mad for about half an hour I did not know where I was going or what I was doing. You know the wash house yard of the last house we were in? Well you could nearly put it in the hole made by the shell.

Six Men in Shelter: Five Killed One Wounded
27th May 1915
News reached Lancaster on Sunday through Captain W R W Deed that five had been killed and one wounded owing to the bursting of a shell in a reserve trench shelter on Wednesday week the 26th inst. Few details were given in a letter to Mr Ernest Threlfall of King Street informing him of the death of his elder son Sergeant Robert Threlfall. Captain Deed writing on the 27th says last night your son was sitting in a shelter in a reserve trench when a shell came through causing the death of five and wounds to one. Lance corporal McGowan died on the way to the Dressing Station but your son, Sergeant Dawes, Lance corporal Harlowe and Corporal Sandham were killed directly. Captain Eaves and I were present at their burial this morning before light when a short service was said. A cross will be put up to mark the spot which is quite close to the spot and the trench where they were killed. From further letters it appears that the one man wounded was Private S Cook who belongs to Caton. All the men belong to ĎBí Company, 1st/5th Kingís Own.

Carnforth and Caton Casualties
In letters announcing the death of Sergeant Threlfall and others on Wednesday week, Captain Deed mentioned that the shell which caused their deaths wounded Private S Cook who belongs to Caton and already been in hospital after being blown up and buried by the explosion of a shell on the 8th May as mentioned in the Observer of 21st May before enlisting Cook was a postman at Caton.

Mr J Cook of Caton received official intimation on Friday that his son Private S Cook was killed on the 29th May from letters received in Lancaster. It was known that Private Cook was wounded at the same time that Sergeant Mason Dawes, Sergeant Threlfall, Lance corporal Harlowe, Lance corporal McGowan and Corporal Sandham were killed by a shell piercing and exploding their dugout on 25th May. No message concerning this reached Private Cooks relatives directly Ė possibly because no other Caton men were near at the time of the explosion. It must be surmised that Private S Cook only survived his injuries from three of four days. Only a fortnight before (8th) he was blown up and buried by a shell. Cook was only eighteen years of age and during the few years which have elapsed since he left Caton School he had been engaged in gardening and latterly as postman up to the time of enlisting. A memorial service was held at the Church on Sunday when a large congregation gathered to pay their tribute to one who had fallen for their sakes. The choir sang ďBlest are the departedĒ and funeral marches were played before and after the service.


Officers of the 1st/5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, First World War.
Accession Number: KO1924/04

 

 

 

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