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Harold Joseph Cook
People who lived in the Matlocks : Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Harold Cook of Matlock,
photographed on 27th Feb 1918
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Church Group, visiting Ashbourne. About 1925-8

Unnamed lady, photographed near Rockside

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.

The photograph was sent as a postcard by Harold to his Aunt Jane.

His parents, 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 labourer.

Alice Cook with her son Harold

This second family photograph shows Harold as a young boy with his mother.

He was enrolled at All Saints' School on 8 Apr 1907, when his father's occupation was given as Billiard Mk [Marker], and left on 24 Jan 1913. He is recorded in the School Log on 29 Oct 1905: " Harold Cook, the boy who met with an accident in the Summmer Holidays, has now returned to school". The accident itself was not recorded.

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.

Alice Cook

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 perhaps 1946.


These photographs are from the family album's of Harold's relatives and are published here with their very kind permission.
Particular thanks to Phil Brookfield who has scanned the images.
Written and researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

Harold is commemorated at two locations in Matlock.
His name is on both Matlock's War Memorial on Pic Tor and at All Saints' Church
About All Saints Church
Matlock's Memorial Inscriptions
Names on Matlock's War Memorial (See Surnames A - J)