A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Edward Cook
Born: 1885 Richmond. Died: 18 September 1941 Pakenham.
Enlisted: 25 August 1914 aged 29
Served: Egypt, Gallipoli and Western Front
Ted Cook came to the district as a child and eventually planted a small orchard off Army Road, having purchased 13 acres when Closeburn was subdivided around 1912.
He was serving as president of the Pakenham Australian Natives Association lodge when he answered the call to enlist on 25 August 1914, just three weeks after Britain declared war on Germany.
Ted wrote from Egypt saying he was “glad to be amongst the stirring scenes” and was “quite prepared for whatever may be in the future”.
Turned back from Gallipoli in April 1915 because his unit was unable to land their horses, Ted later found himself as a gunner in France and Belgium.
In October 1917, Ted fell sick while on leave in England and was hospitalized, eventually sent back to Australia suffering from pleurisy and broncho-pneumonia.
In 1920, Ted married Mary Kennedy, and the couple eventually had five children.
Ted became active again in local community activities including the ANA, RSL, Fruit Growers‘ Associations and the Pakenham Bush Hospital.
When he died in 1941, the Gazette noted “a gloom was cast over the district”.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com