5502 Sjt Samuel Atkin COOK 2nd Batt York and Lancaster Regiment
Samuel Atkin COOK was born in Sheffield c, 1884.
He was the son of Henry and Teresa Cook.
His father Henry was born at Whaplode, Lincoln c.1857 and his mother, Teresa (nee Memmott) was born at Sheffield in September 1856.
In 1881 they were living at 29 Foster Road, Heeley and Henry was a Woollen Draper (shopman). Their son, John Henry Edward was aged 2 and daughter Amy Evelyn, 1 month.
There is no further reference to Henry.
Teresa Cook (nee Memmott) was born in Sheffield.
In 1861 she was living at ‘Middle Heeley’ with father Edward and mother, Ann.
By 1871, now aged 14, she was a ‘servant’ living in the home of Wainman and Louisa Topham at 106 Alexandra Road, Heeley.
In 1881 as stated above, now married to Henry Cook and living at 29 Foster Road.
In 1891, it appears Henry has died as Teresa Cook is living at 6 Springwood Road with sons John Edward, now aged 12 and Amy Evelyn, now 10. A further son, Herbert bn c.1889 has arrived.
In 1901 the family were still at Springwood Road and Teresa is described as a Grocer.
In 1911, Teresa is living with daughter Amy a 30 year old single woman, at 20 Windermere Road, Sheffield.
Samuel Atkin Cook first appears on the 1891 census, living with his Uncle, Samuel and Aunty, Ann at 19 Crookes Road, Sheffield. He is 7 years old and a ‘scholar’.
Number 19 Crookes Road is approximately just left of the cart in the above image.
Why he would be living with his relatives rather than his immediate family is not known.
There is little doubt that Henry and Uncle Samuel were brothers as the only census records I can find show that they were born in the same area ie Whaplode and Spalding, Lincolnshire.
Samuel Atkin Cook enlisted at Sheffield on the 11th September 1899 as a ‘Boy Soldier’. He was then described as a ‘Clerk’.
He was shown as being 15 years and 9 months old, 4’ 9 ½” tall weighing just 74 lbs – 5 stone 4 lbs.
He became a ‘Drummer’ in 1901 before being promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1903. He served in India from March 1901 to December 1902 but saw no service in the Boer War.
He was promoted to Corporal in November 1904, Lance Sergeant in 1907 and Acting Sergeant on the 14th April 1909.
He ‘re-engaged’ on the 17th September 1910 at Pontefract agreeing to serve ‘for such further period as will make up a total continuous period of 21 years’.
He was promoted to Sergeant on the 16th November 1910.
On the 26th December 1906, he married Emily Phoebe Beadman at Pontefract.
Emily had been born in Coleorton, Leicestershire c. 1882. Her father Joseph was a coal miner and her mother was Isabella.
In 1891 her family were living at Church Lane, Ravenstone with Snibstone, Leicestershire.
In 1911, she was living with her family at 46 Queen Street, Pontefract and she and Samuel appear to have had two daughters, Isabella Teresa aged 3 and Ivy Evelyn aged 1.
When the Great War broke out, Samuel entered France on the 9th September 1914, serving with the 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment.
He remained in France until 7th October 1916 and his service record states that he had suffered a severe Gunshot Wound to his left arm necessitating it’s amputation above the elbow.
He must have recovered to a great extent as he stayed in the Service until the 25th September 1920 when he was discharged to a full 100% pension.
His papers indicate a next of kin as (Aunt) Ann Cook at 19 Crookes Road, Sheffield – then his wife, at 46 Queen Street, Pontefract. Also shown is the address of 4 or 7 Reliance Place, Winter Street, Sheffield.
Further children had been born to Samuel and Emily these being – Samuel Joseph George who was born 4th April 1913 and Roy (?) Eric, born 14th August 1919.
His character was described as ‘Exemplary’.
He died in 1966
The Somme 1916
On the 15th September the 2nd battalion was one of those directed to make an attack on a ‘line NE of Morval’. At 7.20am they moved off but were held up by machine gun fire from the Quadrilateral (Redoubt) and Bouleaux Wood. By 7.35pm, the attack was deemed to have been a failure. Further attacks on the 18th were a success with 3 machine guns captured and 51 men taken prisoner.
On the 25th further attacks were resumed and the battalion advanced under a creeping barrage. All three objectives were secured. The Germans counter-attacked but were driven off by an artillery barrage.
The battalion was then relieved and marched into billets at Meaulte where they remained for the next few days.
Given that Sergeant Cook left France on the 7th October, landing back in England on the 8th, it is quite likely that the wounds he sustained were received during the above mentioned actions as, from the 26th September until after the 8th October, the regiment remained in billets behind the front line.
On the 25th of September, the Battalion sustained losses of 23 men killed.