19-year-old Lance Corporal Stanley Waterton Cook (also recorded as Cooke in some records) died of exposure on 28th November 1915 whilst serving in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force with the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
He was born on 29th November 1896 and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church, Meriden. He was the youngest of three children born to parents Charles Edward Cook (a bricklayer born in Great Packington) and his wife, Sarah Harriet, née Waterton (a draper/shopkeeper, born in London). His siblings were Edmund John Cook (1890-1975) and Lewis William Cook (1891-1893). Lewis died before Stanley was born.
Having attended Meriden School, Stanley also worked as a volunteer for the British Red Cross in Coleshill. He is pictured, above, in his Red Cross uniform. On the 1911 census, 15-year-old Stanley was living with his parents in Meriden and recorded as a textile card lacer. His surviving older brother, Edmund, was a living as a boarder in Gloucester in 1911 and working as an assistant grocer. According to Edmund’s daughter, Sheila, it was her father who adopted the “e” at the end of the family’s surname (see The Fallen of Meriden, Great & Little Packington during the Great War 1914-1918 by Doreen Agutter).
It’s not known when Stanley enlisted in the Royal Warwicks, but he first entered a Theatre of war on 13th July 1915, just over four months before he died.
He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq, as well as being commemorated locally on Meriden war memorial. Recent research by WW1 historian John Stephen Morse has revealed that Lance Corporal Cooke was one of 21 men from the 9th Royal Warwicks who died at Gallipoli and whose names have been wrongly entered on the Basra Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has added their names to the online Debt of Honour register as being commemorated on the Helles Memorial and, in due course, the names will be inscribed on the memorial itself. See the Meriden Mag, Spring 2018 for further information.
If you have any more information on the Cook(e) family of Meriden, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 021 704 6977