Captain John COOK

Badge Number: 6252, Sub Branch: State

COOK, Captain John

Service Number: 253
Enlisted: 10 January 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Burnside, South Australia, April 1889
Home Town: Burnside (SA), Burnside City Council, South Australia
Schooling: High street Burnside public school
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Natural causes, Maylands, South Australia, 10 April 1970
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Burnside Public School Roll of Honour, Hindmarsh Baptist Church WW1 Roll of Honour, Tusmore Burnside District Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

10 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 253, Adelaide, South Australia
9 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 253, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 253, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
29 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, 253, 43rd Infantry Battalion

Help us honour Captain John Cook's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Captain John Cook was born in April 1889 in the Burnside Hospital, and he died from natural causes on the 10th of April 1970 in Maylands, Adelaide. His mother was Eliza Ann Cook and his father’s name was John. He and his family lived in at Burnside, Adelaide and he went to the local public school on High Street, Burnside. Before Cook joined the Australian Imperial Force he worked as a labourer and his religion was Baptist. 

He was 5 feet and 8 inches tall, and he had blue eyes and brown hair. Cook was not married at the time of enlistment and remained single during the war. He enlisted on the 10th of January 1916 and was placed in the 43rd Battalion, ranked as a private. The 43rd Battalion was one of the last Battalions to be raised in South Australia. This specific Battalion left Australia in June 1916 and stopped in Egypt for a while to set up Mena camp near the Great Pyramids to begin training in preparation for the Western Front. The Battalion spent majority of 1917 in a trench in Flanders.

On the 1st of August 1916 Cook was admitted to the hospital, the reason is unknown and released on the 8th of August.

On the 21st of November 1916, Cook was absent without leave for 3 days and not back with the Battalion until the 23rd of November. On the 25th of November he then proceeded back to France, this was shortly after the Battle of the Sommes. On the 17th of December he was admitted to the 7th General Field hospital with the mumps. He then was released from the hospital on the 6th of January 1917. He rejoined the unit on 7th of January and was in the field for 4 months at the Western Front from the 18th of January to the 25th of April 1917 when he was admitted to the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station with a Hernia. He was transported by the 6th Ambulance train to the 25th General Hospital in Hardelot arriving 1st May 1917. Once treated he was sent to the 7th Convalescent Hospital in Boulogne. Eventually, he rejoined his unit on the 5th August 1917 and stayed in the field until the 18th of September. Australians were in Belgium and fought side by side at Broodseinde for the Third Battle of Ypres that occurred from the 31st of July to the 10th of November 1917.

Cook sprained his ankle during the battle and transferred through different hospitals from the 24th of September until the 18th December 1918 when he rejoined the 43rd Battalion. Cook left for England to have leave on the 20th of January 1918. His Battalion was already getting ready to part with the Allies offensive operations to push back the German forces in England around this time of 1918.

Cook then rejoined his Battalion on the 6th of February 1918 and was admitted to hospital the next day with scabies which was a disease of parasitic infestation. Once again, he rejoined his unit on the 18th February 1918. He fought for a couple of months before being admitted to hospital again with Meningitis on 16th May. He developed Pyrexia (fever) and was sent to hospital in England, ending up in the Norfolk War Hospital in Norwich by the 23rd May. He was given leave from 3rd August – 17th August and when he reported back for duty he was sent back to Australia due to being medically unfit with Neurasthenia (lack of sleep, anxiety, fatigue caused from mental effort and exhaustion)

Cook safely made it home to his mother and father. He returned on the 28th of December 1918 and passed away at the age of 81 from natural causes in Maylands South Australia.