La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, Vimy, France, IV. D. 13.
Born: Hemel Hempstead.
Residence: Hemel Hempstead.
Thomas Cook fought in the Bedfordshire Regiment as a member of the 1st Battalion. Enlisted in 1917, Thomas Cook was sent out to La Culotte, France where he fought for several months until his death.
On 23rd April 1917 the Captain of the First Battalion, C.A.S Morris was killed when the Battalion attacked La Culotte. Thomas Cook was killed by an enemy machine gun firing at 11.05am.
Attacks began at 4.55am on the 23rd April 1917 where they had previously spent the night at Camp Al-Berthonval - there had been no previous machine gun firings through the night of the 22nd. The Bedfords met with the Devons at 6.15 and 24 enemy prisoners at the point of meetup. In attempt to push back the second German line of trenches, many soldiers were left dead or wounded from machine gun firing. At 9.50am Non-Commissioned Officers (N.C.Os) from Bedford and Devon were surrounded; the gaps they had come through had been covered and they were bombed from the front.
By 11.05 they were forced out of the German Second Line - their Captain was killed when he was rallying his troops to push the German Second Line back. The Battalion was ordered to withdraw under heavy fire from the Germans, evacuating the wounded before withdrawing to the original outpost. The rest of the Bedfords and Devons withdraw under smoke by 4.50pm.
The memorial of the soldiers that were killed in the battle of La Culotte is situated in Vimy, France.
By Robbie Tripp, Anna Smith and Sam Eades
25th June 2019