Sergeant James Cook
19th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 7007
Born: 25 April 1898 Newtown, NSW
Died: 8 August 1918, Amiens, France
James David Cook (Koch) was born on 25 April 1896 at Newtown, the son of Magnus Adolph (Alfred) and Isabella (nee Derome) Koch/Cook. His father was a Danish seaman from Koling, Denmark. Jim, as he was known, was the only surviving child of this couple. One sister had died as an infant and another, Isabella drowned in Haslems Creek, Lidcombe on her way home from school. After her death in 1913, the family worked a farm at Llandilo until the early 1920s when they moved to New Street, Lidcombe. Cook served as a Lieutenant in the Lidcombe Cadets and had studied at Duntroon Military College. In about 1915, he spent two years serving as a drill instructor and machine gun instructor at Seymour, Victoria with the rank of Sergeant Major.
Cook enlisted on 8 October 1917 with the rank of Sergeant. On 15 November 1917, Cook was allocated to A Company, 1st Infantry Depot Battalion at Liverpool. He was later allocated to the 21st Reinforcements, 19th Battalion. On 28 February 1918, Cook embarked at Melbourne aboard HMAT Nestor, disembarking at Liverpool, England on 20 April 1918. On 25 April 1918, Cook marched into the 5th Training Battalion at Fovant and was sent to the war front in France on 1 July 1918. Two days later Cook marched into the Australian Divisional Base Depot at Havre. On 10 July 1918, Cook was in the field with the 18th Battalion. On 8 August 1918, his Battalion took part in the Battle of Amiens, a crucial Allied breakthrough counter-offensive. Cook was killed in action on 8 August during the first day of the Battle of Amiens.
By 1923, Cook’s father had left his wife and moved to Sussex Street Sydney. She was living in Parramatta at the time and was upset that all of her son’s medals and personal effects went to his father. Cook had also left his estate to his father. In April 1923, a letter written on Isabella’s behalf, requested Cook’s Victory Medal be awarded to her, considering her estranged husband had received his other medals. Base Records wrote to Cook stating ‘it would be an act of grace on your part to allow Mrs Cook to have this one remaining war memento in memory of her son’. This, the husband did consent to and Isabella received her son’s Victory Medal.
- Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers Bretonneux, France
- Honor Roll, Llandilo Public School
- Honor Roll, St Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, St Marys