Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
9 Oct 1919
Media files and documents
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Lieut Frederick Charles Cook, RAF, died in the Empire Hospital, Victoria, London, on October 9th, 1919, as a result of wounds sustained in action over a year earlier. He was aged 21.
After being transferred from the 2nd Beds Regiment he gained a reputation in the RAF as being an expert bomber and the crack shot of his squadron, responsible for 'winging' several German machines.
But on September 1st, 1918, during an air fight, his pilot was killed and he fell, severely wounded, in a shell-hole in No Man's Land at 10 o'clock in the morning. A young officer, whose identity Lieut Cook was never able to establish, crept up to him and promised to rescue him that night. Unfortunately, as his would-be rescuer left the shell-hole to return to his post, he was immediately shot by a sniper. Lieut Cook was eventually rescued at 2 o'clock the next morning, after hours of suffering.
For some time afterwards his condition was critical, but he later became well enough to be moved to England, where he remained under hospital treatment until his death at the Empire Hospital. His coffin, draped in a Union Jack, was brought back from there to Luton, where a funeral with full military honours was held, including a firing party from Biscot Camp.
The eldest son of tailor Frederick Jason Cook and his wife Beatrice, of 3 High Town Road, Luton, Frederick had joined the Leicestershire Regiment at the age of 17½ and was recommended by his commanding officer for a commission for his good work in the trenches. He returned to England for cadet training and was subsequently gazetted into the 2nd Bedfords in August 1917. From there he was transferred to the RAF.