Hobart-born Cook was officer in British Army
AMONG the more than 500 servicemen and women remembered on the Soldiers’ Memorial Avenue are a small number who served with armies other than the Australian Imperial Force.
There are some who were members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as well as others who served in various units of the British Army.
Electrical engineer Jack Cook left Tasmania with the first troops of the largely Tasmanian 12th Battalion but ended up as an officer in the British Army.
Born at the Glebe, Hobart, in 1892, Jack was the son of Clara and police superintendent John Cook.
He was one of the original Anzacs, joining up at Pontville in September 1914 and setting sail from Hobart on HMAT Geelong the next month.
He served at Gallipoli and was evacuated to hospital in Lemnos, then Malta and ultimately England after suffer- ing a severe concussion when he was buried under sandbags at Anzac Cove.
By now a lance corporal, he was discharged from hospital in October 1915 and was given 10 days leave in England.
In January 1916 he was discharged from the AIF after being granted a commission in the British Army, appointed as lieutenant in the Royal West Surrey Regiment, known as the “Queen’s Own.”
That October it was announced that he would be awarded the Military Cross for gallant conduct in going over a parapet in broad daylight and
under enemy fire to bring in a wounded man.
The Mercury reported on February 27, 1917, that Jack’s friends in Hobart would be pleased to hear he had paid a visit to Buckingham Palace, and was decorated by King George V.
On October 1, 1918, Jack was serving as an acting captain with a trench mortar battery when he was killed in action at Cortrai, Belgium. He was buried at the Zantvoorde British Cemetery, aged 25.
Lieutenant John Valentine (Jack) Cook is remembered at tree 507 on the Soldiers’ Memorial Avenue.