Howard Henry Cooke - Lest We Forget

Howard Henry Cooke was born January 29, 1895 at Militia, Manitoba. He was the son of Henry Cooke, born August 30, 1860 and Emma Cooke, born December 2, 1861, both from England. He had three sisters: Edith, born in Manitoba in 1891; Elsie born in Manitoba in 1893 and Florence, born in Revelstoke January 1, 1901. The family moved to Revelstoke sometime prior to 1901 and lived on King Street, in the lower part of town.  Elsie was drowned in August of 1902 at the age of nine when she fell into the Columbia River. 

Edith married A.H.O. Cutler sometime prior to 1916. Florence died in Vancouver in December of 1919 at the age of 18. Mrs. Emma Cooke died in Revelstoke in 1913 at the age of 51.  In the 1911 census, their address is given as King Street, in Lower Town. Local school records show Howard attending the Revelstoke High School in 1910. During the war years father Henry worked on the Connaught Tunnel, which opened in 1916.

At the outset of the war Howard was a member of the local 102nd Regiment, Rocky Mountain Rangers but was not accepted for active duty at that time.  He signed his enlistment papers July 30, 1915 at Vernon. He was 20 years old, single, 5’ 9” tall, with brown hair and grey eyes. He gave his occupation as clerk and his religious affiliation as Presbyterian.

Howard Henry Cooke died October 2, 1916, perhaps during one of the numerous attempts to capture the Regina Trench from the Germans.  He was 21 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private in the 29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia) Regiment.  His regimental number was 463255. He is buried in the St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France.

The October 12, 1916 issue of the Revelstoke Review carried this notice of the death of Howard Cooke: “Mrs. Cutler received word on Friday of last week announcing the death of her brother “Howard,” who previously was reported wounded in action.  The many friends in this city will receive the news of his death with extreme sorrow. “Howard” was a Revelstoke boy, having lived here all his life and was known to nearly all the old-time residents. To the bereaved father and sisters the Review joins with the friends here in extending their heartfelt sympathy.”

The name of Howard Cooke is inscribed on both the Methodist and Presbyterian Church Honor Rolls as well as on the Revelstoke Fire Brigade No. 1 and YMCA Honor Rolls. His name is also inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques. In all places his last name was spelled Cook.

 Central School, Revelstoke, senior class, 1911.Howard Cooke is in the very back row, at the far left.

Central School, Revelstoke, senior class, 1911.Howard Cooke is in the very back row, at the far left.