COOK Arthur 1887-1969 D.C.M.

Summary

Arthur Cook was born 1887 at Cockfield and in 1901 lived at Burnt Houses.  By 1911, he lived at Model Terrace, Cockfield with his wife Dorothy and 2 children.  He was a Territorial soldier, a member of the 2/2 Northumbrian Field Ambulance which came under the orders of the 50th Northumbrian Division, the infantry divisions of which included the 6th Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry.  Initially, his regimental number was 1833, which in 1917 was renumbered 388362 and he served over 5 years in the Territorial Force.  Private Arthur Cook served 2 periods overseas on the Western Front, from 20 April 1917 to 28 October 1917 before returning home after suffering a shrapnel wound to his left arm.  Private A. Cook re-entered France 13 October 1918 and served until 08 January 1919, being posted to 17 Field Ambulance.  He was awarded the D.C.M. for gallantry in the field during October 1917 and the British War and Victory medals.  After the war, he appears to have remarried and lived at Bishop Auckland.  He died in 1969 aged 82.   

This image shows the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
It is not the actual medal presented to Private A. Cook.

Family Details

Arthur Cook born 5 February 1887 [1] was the son of George M. Hall and Margaret A. Hall.  There were 4 children, all born at Cockfield: [2]

  • Arthur Cook bc.1887
  • Ephrain bc.1890
  • Elizabeth bc.1892
  • John William bc.1894

In 1901, the family lived at Burnt Houses and 14-years old Arthur worked as a coal miner “incline-man”.[3] By 1911, Arthur was married to Dorothy Jane and they had 2 children, both born at Cockfield:

  • Margaret Ann bc.1909
  • Elaine Jane born 1911

The family lived at Model Terrace, Cockfield and Arthur worked as a coal miner [hewer] [4] at New Copley Colliery, Cockfield.[5]  By 1915 the family lived at 6 Dixon Terrace, Cockfield. [6]

Military Details [7]

8 January 1915: Aged 27 years 11 months, Arthur Cook was embodied into the 2nd [Reserve] Northumbrian Field Ambulance, R.A.M.C. and given the regimental number 1833.  He underwent a medical examination and was considered fit for service.  He stood 5’ 10” tall and of good physical development.[8]  He agreed to serve overseas [9] but was posted on home duties until 19 April 1917, a period of 2 years 102 days.

  • 21 April 1917: Entered France, with draft of 4/2nd Northumbrian Field Ambulance
  • 06 May 1917: posted to 2/2 Northumbrian Field Ambulance in the field
  • 25 October 1917: wounded in action, gunshot wound to the left arm.  Initially, he was treated at 4 CCS then transferred to 3 Canadian General Hospital then to England on a Hospital Ship via Boulogne.[10]
  • He had served 192 days with the BEF, from 20/04/17 to 28/10/17
  • 29/10/1917 to 12/01/18, he was at home for 349 days being admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester for 75 days between 28/10/17 and 10/01/18 receiving treatment for a shrapnel wound in the left arm and forearm.[11]
  • 10 to 19/01/1918, granted a furlough on his discharge from 2 Western General Hospital, Manchester.[12]
  • 13/08/1918 to 2/09/1918: a further 21 days was spent at 2 Western General Hospital, Manchester for treatment with the shrapnel wound to his left arm.[13]
  • 13/10/18 to 08/01/19, back to France and a further 88 days with the BEF, being posted to 17 Field Ambulance 21 October.
  • 09/01/19 to 05/02/19, a further 28 days at home before being disembodied
  • Disembodied service between 06/02/19 and 31/03/20, 1 year 55 days
  • In total, Private A. Cook served 5 years 84 days

19 December 1917: The Teesdale Mercury reported that Private A. Cook RAMC had been awarded the Military Medal.  The award was in fact the Distinguished Conduct Medal [D.C.M.].  The citation was recorded in the London Gazette 28 March 1918:

“388362 Pte. A. Cook R.A.M.C. [Co. Durham] For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. 

He formed part of a stretcher squad and while bringing in a wounded stretcher case, they were heavily shelled.  In conjunction with the others, he lowered the stretcher and with an absolute disregard of danger to himself, protected the wounded man with his body.  Though wounded himself, he with great determination and pluck, helped to carry the wounded man to safety.” [14]

This action must refer to 25 October 1917 when it was recorded that Private A. Cook suffered shrapnel wounds to the left arm.  He also received the sum of £20 in respect of the grant for the DCM.[15]

1 March 1920: 388362 Private Arthur Cook D.C.M. was awarded the British War and Victory medals.[16]

Post War

1925: Dorothy Cook died.[17]

1934: Arthur Cook married Theresa Chew at Auckland.[18]

1939: Arthur and Theresa Cook lived at 17 May Street, Bishop Auckland where Arthur worked as a “baker’s journeyman”.[19]

1968: Arthur Cook lived at 17 Raby Gardens, Bishop Auckland. [20]  He died aged 82 in 1969. [21]

2/2 NORTHUMBRIAN FIELD AMBULANCE ANNUAL REUNION 20 APRIL 1966

Article appeared in the Northern Echo 30 April 2016


REFERENCES

[1] England & Wales Death Index 1916-2007 Vol.1a p.1424 1969 Q3

[2] 1891 census

[3] 1901 census

[4] 1911 census

[5] Correspondence dated 26 July 1916 from Officer Commanding RAMC in No.2 Station, Tyne Garrison, 2 St. Albans Place, Tynemouth to the Manager, New Copley Colliery

[6] Army Form E.501 Territorial Force Attestation Form

[7] Army Form E.501 Statement of the Services & Military History Sheet; B.103 Casualty Form – Active Service & Army Book 216

[8] Medical Inspection Report 8 January 1915

[9] Army Form E.624

[10] Army Form B.103

[11] Table II

[12] Army Form W.3016

[13] Table II

[14] London Gazette 28 March 1918

[15] Army Form C348 Memo dated 13 May 1919

[16] Roll of Individuals awarded the British War and Victory medals & Medal Roll card index

[17] England & Wales Death Index 1916-2007 Vol.10a p.338 1925 Q1 Teesdale

[18] England & Wales Marriage Register Vol.10a p.534 1934 Q3 Auckland

[19] 1939 Register

[20] Various documents accompanying a letter dated 22 June 1968 T.W. Hall to Maj-Gen. R.E. Barnsley, RAMC Historical Museum Trust

[21] England & Wales Death Index 1916 – 2007 Vol.1a p.1424 1969 Q3 Durham Western

Names for the reunion are from: