COOK, Wilfrid

Sergeant Wilfrid Cook
145871 Royal Engineers

CookWilfred1918 smlWilfrid Cook was born on 1st April 1895 and baptised a few years later at St. Mary’s, Westwood by Rev. A. Reid. Wilfrid was the son of Harry Cook, an iron worker from Codnor Park and Alice Cook (nee Smedley). His parents, Harry and Alice had five children in all, of whom only three survived, Wilfrid and his two brothers, Harry and Ernest. In 1911 the family was living at New Westwood, with Wilfrid’s widowed grandfather Edward Smedley. Wilfrid, then aged sixteen, was employed as a sanitary pipe-works clerk.

We know little of Wilfrid’s service career but his daughter has provided some photographs of Wilfrid in uniform and advised us that he did serve in the trenches in France and later in 1919 in Germany in the Army of Occupation. His Medal Rolls Index Card indicates that he was awarded¬†the British War and Victory Medals.

Wilfrid served for five years but due to the sound of the guns came back to Jacksdale with Neurasthenia. He had a short temper and could not sit in strong daylight for very long. Despite this depressing illness he went on to marry his childhood sweetheart Mary Alice Grainger (sister of Lt. Albert Pearson Grainger also recorded on the Jacksdale War Memorial as having served.)

CookWilfred&Alice smlIn 1925 Wilfrid and Mary bought the Grainger family home ‘The Limes’, Selston Road, Jacksdale. Wilfrid’s daughter who was born in 1931 passed her childhood here and can still remember how the miners sang as they passed by the house. In later years Wilfrid became quite deaf due to the noise of the battlefield. He died in the Midlands aged sixty nine. His wife Mary survived until her late eighties.