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Information from Clive Wood, 2008
Lance Corporal Thomas W. Cook

12371 5th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

L-Cpl T Cook
L-Cpl T Cook
The Argus Newspaper
Son of Mr William & Mrs Lizzie Cook
Husband of Frances E (nee Bird)

Aged 29 years

Died 21st March 1916

Commemorated on Loos Memorial
Panel 91-93

Born Peterborough.
The Rushden Echo Friday 31 March 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Two Victims of One Shell - Rushden Soldiers Killed - Corpl A A Mepham Succumbs to Wounds

We regret to report that news has been received in Rushden from unofficial sources that Corpl A A Mepham, of C Company, 5th Northants (Pioneers), eldest son of Mr and Mrs Mepham, of 103, Portland-road, Rushden, has been killed in action. The same shell that laid him low also killed, we regret to say, another Rushden soldier, Lance Corpl T Cooke, particulars of whose tragic deaths are reported in this issue. The deceased soldiers were bosom friends and used to share each other's parcels. They enlisted together a week after the outbreak of war in August 1914, and went out with the same draft to the Western front, in May 1915.

Wellingborough News, March 31 1916, transcribed by Clive Wood

Killed by the same shell

We are grieved to report that two Rushden lads have recently been killed by the same shell in France. The first one is Corpl. A A Mepham of the 5th Northants, son of Mr & Mrs Mepham of 103 Portland Road, Rushden. A letter, which Mr Mepham (who is proprietor of the Steam Laundry), received from a chaplain on Sunday states that his son was wounded in the neck and left side on Tuesday night, March 21st between 7 and 8 pm, and died at 3.45 am the next morning. He was buried in Bethune Cemetery.

The other soldier is Lance-Corpl. T Cook of the 5th Northants, eldest son of Mr & Mrs Wm Cook of 1 Trafford Road, Rushden.

Lance-Corpl. Cook enlisted at the same time as Corpl. Mepham and the two became firm friends going to the front together. According to a letter which Mrs Cook received from one of her relatives at the front, both men were repairing a trench under great difficulties when a shell from a German trench mortar exploded and killed Lance-Corpl. Cook instantaneously, mortally wounding Corpl. Mepham and injuring several other men. Mrs Cook has received a letter of sympathy from Sergt. H. Wortley of the 5th Northants. The case is made all the sadder because of the fact that Lance. Corpl. Cook came home from the front and was married some six months ago. His wife, who lives in Little Street, has received the sad news from a soldier named Ford.

The Rushden Echo Friday 31 March 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Killed - Lance-Corpl T Cooke - A Very Popular NCO - A Cheerful Soldier - Two Victims with One Shell

Unofficial, but we fear, authentic information has been received that Lance-Corpl T Cooke (Rushden), of C Company, 5th Northants (Pioneers), eldest son of Mr and Mrs W Cooke, of 1, Trafford-road, Rushden, has been killed in action.

As reported in this issue, one shell accounted for the lives of both Lance-Corpl Cooke and his comrade, Corpl A A Mepham, also of Rushden.

Tom CookThe late Lance-Corpl Cooke was but 29 years of age, and last Rushden feast he was married, while home on leave, to Miss Bird, has not been home since. Much sympathy will be felt throughout the town with his parents and young widow in their grievous bereavement.

The deceased soldier enlisted with his friend, the late Corpl Mepham, in the week following the outbreak of war, and they proceeded to the front together in May, 1915, their firm friendship continuing until the end.

The first news concerning Lance-Corpl Cooke's death was received on Sunday morning, and was contained in a letter sent of a soldier named Ford. He asked his wife, who resides in Essex-road, Rushden to break the news to Lance-Corpl Cooke's wife and parents.

Further confirmation of the sad fact came to hand on Monday, when Mr and Mrs Cooke received a letter from Sergt H Worley, of the 5th Northants, as follows:-

"It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform your that your son was killed in action on the 21st inst, by a shell. He was a very popular NCO, and his loss is very greatly felt by all in his Company, and especially by his own platoon. He was always willing and of a cheerful disposition, thereby helping to keep his comrades cheerful too. As an NCO I have always found him a reliable and very willing one and he never saw fear. Wishing you every sympathy in this very great loss."

By the same post Mr and Mrs Cooke received a letter from the deceased soldier's brother-in-law - Pte J Bird (Rushden), of the RAMC, giving information as to the manner of Lance-Corpl Cooke's death. It appears that he was working in the firing line for the benefit of Divisional troops, and in company with a few more of his platoon, including Corpl Mepham (Rushden) was engaged in repairing the trench under heavy shell fire. Suddenly one of the enemy's shells from a trench mortar fell into the midst of the working party and burst, killing Lance-Corpl Cooke instantly and so seriously wounding Corpl Mepham that he expired some few hours later.

Lance-Corpl Cooke, says Pte Bird, was greatly respected and more than loved by all the boys who knew him, and especially by the officer, NCOs and men of his platoon. Prior to his enlistment the late Lance-Corpl Cooke was in the employ of Messrs Cunnington Bros, boot manufacturer, Rushden.

The Rushden Echo Friday 13 April 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

SOLDIER BURIED We take the following extract from a letter sent by Sergt A Philby of the Yorks and Lanes Regt., to Miss Walker, of 94 Wellingbroough-road, and received on Monday: "The other day we found a man, Pte Cooke, of the - Northants, buried here in a bit of a grave, and our pioneer Sergt. made him a cross and trimmed the grave up. I expect he will have come from somewhere around Rushden."

The Rushden Echo Friday 22 March 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

COOKE - In proud and loving memory of Lance-Corpl Tom Cooke, 5th Northants Regt (Pioneers), who was killed in action in France, on March 21st, 1916, aged 29 years. He gave his young life for England. Precious remembrance.

From Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.

The Rushden Echo Friday 21 March 1919, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

COOKE - In loving memory of Lance-Corpl Tom Cooke, 5th Northants Regt, who enlisted the second week of the war, 1914, and was killed in France, March 22, 1916. From Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother.

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