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poppyOn this day one hundred years ago one soldier of the 1st Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was killed accidentally (D) in France.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.


Private Thomas Cook; Born and enlisted in Oldham. Previously served 5 1/2 years with the Irish Guards. Mobilised as a Special Reserve soldier on 12th September 1914 and landed in France on 22nd September 1914. Husband of Mary (nee Barker) of Nutter Street, Oldham. Father of Albert, Tom, Walter and Emma.

The court of enquiry into the death of Private Cook heard that at 19:45 hrs 10368 Private Leslie John Flecknoe had fired his rifle accidentally in the direction of the main guard tent. At 20:30 hrs Private Thomas Cook was found 4 yards behind the tent having been shot through the head. The accident apparently occurred as the bolt of Flecknoe’s rifle had jammed whilst he was loading it for a guard duty. Cook was outside the tent on his way back from taking some candles down to another guard post. The court concluded that the cause of death was accidental but procedures for loading the guard were not followed properly by  Private Flecknoe and his guard commander, Corporal Boardman.

Rank: Private
Service No: 3377
Age: 38
Date of Death: 18/10/1914 (D)
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.


Paul McCormick
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