DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
3rd Infantry Brigade
3rd Field Company
1st Canadian Divisional Engineers
Canadian Engineer Corps
SERVICE NO: 45080
RESIDENCE: Hensall – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: May 27, 1879
Seven Oaks – Kent - England
DATE OF DEATH: August 15, 1917 38 years 2 months
CEMETERY: Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery – Noeux-Les-Mines
Pas de Calais – France
PARENTS: Mr. George and Sarah Cook – Hope Villa – Chelmsford – Essex – England
Occupation: Carpenter Religion:
Enlistment: Valcartier – September 23, 1914
Enlistment Age: 35 years 1 month
William came to Canada in 1903 and lived with the Kaiser family in Hensall. He was employed as a carpenter.
There is nothing in his files to indicate when he embarked from Canada or arrived in England. We think however, that it was late 1914 or January of 1915.
Once in England he was appointed to 2nd Corporal on February 5, 1915. He went overseas into France on March 18th. On May 1st he was promoted to full rank of Corporal. He was wounded in the head on July 13th and taken to No. 1 Canadian Field Ambulance. Then it was to No. 3 General Hospital in Le Treport on July 15th. After going to a Convalescent Camp, Reinforcement Camp and the rejoined his unit on August 5, 1915.
He was appointed Acting Sergeant on January 21, 1916.
Sergeant Cook was mentioned in dispatches for excellent and distinguished conduct on the field in the London Gazette 29890 of January 4, 1917. He was alo mentioned in despatches February 2, 1917 (Pt II no 12, 2-2-17)
The Engineers had the responsibility for constructing the defence system, for the water and sanitation systems, for the building of bridges and for assisting with trench raids against the enemy.
Sergeant Cook was with his unit at Hill 70 in the vicinity of Lens at a village called Bracquemont.
Zero hour for the advance onto Hill 70 was set for 4:25 am on the morning of August 15, 1917. During the night of the 14th/15th was somewhat quiet even when the enemy was lobbing gas shells,
At zero hour the Brigade artillery opened up with their barrage onto the enemy positions and it was a well placed barrage and as the infantry advanced there was very little enemy resistance and the final objective being the green line was reached at 5:35 am. The front was 4,000 yards and they were located south-east of Loos. One by one the objectives of the advance fell.
The Brigade took the portion of Hill 70 that was allotted to them and consolidation of these positions began immediately.
During the day two sections with the help of the infantry dug strong points in various trenches. They were working with the 16th Battalion – Canadian Scottish during this time. During the evening of August 15/16 the 3rd Field Company was located at Mazingarbe. There were no working parties out this night as no infantry available. The engineers were assisting the infantry in fighting and carrying ammunition, supplies and equipment.
However, as the Brigade tried to consolidate the enemy mounted five counter attacks and these were driven back and from our research of the Brigade war diaries and his personal files we are able to say that it was during one of these enemy counter-attacks when Sergeant Cook was killed in action.