George Trevor Roper Cook DSO


George Trevor Roper Cook was born in Hoylake, Merseyside, on 11 Aug 1877. He was the son of George Ward Cook, a wealthy dealer in cotton. His mother was Clementine Hadow Trevor Roper. The historian Hugh Trevor Roper (1914-2003) was connected to her family. Both parents outlived their son who died bravely in World War One, in command of the 20th Hussars. George was educated at Uppingham School, Rutland, and Malvern College. He went to Sandhurst and was commissioned into the 3rd Dragoon Guards, serving in the Boer War. He transferred to the 20th Hussars in 1913 and went to the Western Front with them as a major, serving in France and Flanders. In December 1915, when Colonel Edwards was promoted, George Cook was given command of the 20th with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In March 1918 the British army was on the back foot as the Germans made progress with their great spring offensive. Men from different units were jumbled together and two mixed cavalry regiments were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, called Cook's Detachment. They acted as a relief force, riding to different sectors as and where they were needed. They were in dismounted action at Lagny but were pulled out and ordered to mount up and ride to Cattigny where French troops needed their help. But the morale of the French soldiers was depleted and they retired as soon as Cook's men arrived. The Germans were too numerous, being able to surround the detachment and overwhelm them. George Cook was killed in the fighting on 26 March 1918 although the body was never identified. His name is inscribed in the memorial at Pozieres. A cousin of his, Lieutenant Godfrey Burton Cook of the 20th Hussars was also killed, a few days earlier on 23 March.

Lieuenant-Colonel George Cook had been awarded the DSO and the Croix de Guerre as well a being twice mentioned in dispatches. He was from a family where he was the only son, with four sisters. He married Alice Dorman in October 1902. They had five children, Betty, Pam, Prue, Marnie and Peter. The photo shows him in civilian clothes with one of his daughters, the eldest, Betty being born in 1903 (died 1991). His son Peter Trevor Roper Cook was born on 17 Sep 1914, after George had gone to war so he never knew him. Peter served in the RAF in World War 2 and as a 26 year old Pilot Officer was tragically killed in a flying accident on 2 April 1941.


Regimental Details | Commanding Officers




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by Stephen Luscombe