Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pte Benjamin J Cook. 5th Royal Sussex Regiment

In October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that Benjamin Cook is serving his King and Country.  In October 1915 it notes that he is Private B Cook serving with the 2/5th Royal Sussex Regiment in England.  In February 1917 his rank is reported as corporal and it is this information - Cook, Corporal B, 2/5th Royal Sussex – which is then repeated up to and including the final published roll in July 1919. 

The 2/5th Royal Sussex Regiment was formed at Hastings in November 1914 and underwent a series of mergers and absorbtions but never actually went overseas. 

Benjamin Cook , born in Streatham, London, appears on the 1911 census as a 21 year-old assisting at the home of his parents, Samuel and Sarah Cook at Bedford House, North Common, Chailey. Samuel was a bootmaker and Sarah's employment is listed as "small general stores" so I take it that Benjamin and his 24-year-old sister, Beatrice, were assisting in the general store.
I have not identified a medal index card for Benjamin at the National Archives in London and my guess is that he was a serving territorial in the 5th Sussex Regiment when war was declared but was not fit enough for overseas service and was posted to the 2/5th Battalion soon after it was formed. I may be completely wrong in this assumption.

Chailey resident Reg Philpott remembers that Ben Cook married Richard Norman’s daughter and that his sister married Wallace Norman who owned Chailey Brickyard at South Common.


No comments: