Harold Joseph Cook was one of the young men of Matlock who died in
the Great War. He had been employed as a lift attendant at Smedley's
after leaving school. When he died he was 18 years of age, and
a Private in the 15th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry.
This photograph was taken on the 27th February 1918, only a few
months after his 18th birthday. He had joined up in September
1917 and was sent to France in the April of the following year.
Harold died on 29 May 1918; he was reported missing on that date
and as nothing further was heard of him afterwards he was presumed
to have been killed then. He is commemorated at the Hermonville
Military Cemetery, Marne, France with other British soldiers
who mostly fell in May and June of that year.
was sent as a postcard by Harold to his Aunt Jane.
Joseph and Alice, lived at 1 Gladstone Terrace, Jackson Road. They
had married at All Saints' Matlock on 5th February 1899 with Adam
Lowe officiating and W. S. Cook and Fredrick Smith as witnesses.
Although Joseph had been born in Matlock, Alice was born in Liverpool;
her father David Rawsthorne was a saddler and worked from the family
home in Vauxhall Road. In the
1901 census Joseph
is listed as All Saints' Church Caretaker; later on he was a builder's
This second family photograph shows Harold as a young boy with
After Harold's death, Alice and Joseph continued to live
at Gladstone Terrace; Alice was there until 1959. She found
it particularly hard to accept that her son had died and
was undoubtedly not alone in this.
The small photograph above is of a slightly older
Alice, taken from a group photograph. Whilst the photo
is stamped 16th August, the year is not clear, although was