Private David James Cook

Date of Birth c1888
Age at Death 28
Date of Death 13 November 1916
Service Number 30146
Military Service Bedfordshire Regiment 4th Battalion
Merton Address 48 Pincott Road
Local Memorial St. Mary's Church, Merton Park

Additional Information

David James COOK was born to parents Frederick a labourer and Elizabeth (Nee Leader). His parents had married in Mitcham at St. Peter and St. Pauls Church on 2nd August 1868 and set up home at Mill cottage on Merton High Street before moving to Brook Cottages, London Road, Mitcham a few years later.

By the time David was born in 1888 his parents already had four children: Elizabeth 17, George 10, William 9 and Frederick 6. Following David’s birth, his parents moved to 2, Hereford Cottages, Nelson Grove Road, Merton. Another child called Ellen was born in 1889.

By 1891 the family of six children were still living at number 2 Hereford Cottages. Frederick Snr was now aged 48 and listed as a general Labourer whilst eldest child Elizabeth was working as a Laundress. George , William and Frederick were still at school, David was 3 and Ellen was the youngest at 2 years.

By 1901 the family had moved to 21 Pincott Road, Merton. Frederick Snr was now listed as a Farm Labourer and the three eldest boys, George, William and Frederick were also working as farm labourers. David was now aged 13 and Ellen aged 12 years, were listed as scholars.

Several marriages followed during the next few years: Frederick jnr married Rosina Gibbons in 1901. William married Isabella Emily Benton in 1902 and Ellen, aged 18, married Jack Newsom in 1905.

David married Harriett Maud Bone on 10th April 1910 at All Saints Church, South Wimbledon. At this time he was listed as a gardener and living at 23 Dryden Road. Harriett had been living nearby at 41 Dryden Road with her parents and nine siblings.

David and Harriett’s daughter was born a few months later on 13th July 1910 and baptised Violet Winifred May on 3rd August 1910 at All Saints Church, Merton their address was listed as 48 Pincott Road.

By 1911 David’s Parents Frederick and Elizabeth had been married for 45 years and of their nine children, 4 had died. The couple were living in 2 rooms at 48 Pincott Road with their 34 year old son, George, who was working as a Boot Repairer. Also living at this address was David, who was working as a farm labourer and his wife Harriett and their daughter Violet along with his sister, Ellen, her husband Jack and their two children - Nellie and John.

Living across the road at number 39 Pincott Road, was William and his wife Isabella and Frederick and his wife Rose and their two children George aged 9 and Rose aged 8.

David was 26 when war broke out. He enlisted at Kingston upon Thames, Surrey and became a Private in the 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (army no. 30146.)

War diaries for his unit state that on 12th / 13th November 1916 : The Battalion marched to take up position in trenches for the attack on Beaumont Hamel. On the 13th November they attacked at 6.45am. David was killed in action on 13th November 1916 aged 28.

He was buried at the Ancre British Cemetery in Beaumont-Hamel a region of the Somme in France and is also remembered on the memorial at St. Mary’s Church, Church Path, Merton Park.

David’s Widow Harriett remarried the following year and became the wife of Alfred George Finch. Harriett died in September 1983, aged 94.


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