The AIF Project

Arthur Ernest COOKE

Regimental number2050
Place of birthAshfield, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address9 Lemon Street, Newcastle, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation38
Next of kinWife, Mrs Winifred Mary Cooke, Robert Street, Merewether, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name34th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/51/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 24 August 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Sarah COOKE; husband of W.M. COOKE, 8 Robert Street, Merewether, New South Wales. Native of Newcastle
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 24 August 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 11 October 1916. Taken on strength, 34th Bn, 26 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Marched out to Work Party, 29 April 1917; rejoined unit from detachment, 15 May 1917. Marched out to Work Party, 21 May 1917; rejoined from detachment, 23 August 1917.

Missing in action, 12 October 1917; subsequently determined to have been killed in action.

Statement by 1122 Pte W. FAULDS, 34th Bn, Weymouth, 13 January 1918: 'On 12.10.17 I was going to a pill box to get temporarily dressed after being wounded, the pill box was just behind the first objective which our Battalion had to take. When about 30 yards away a shell burst close to it killing an officer (of the 10th Battalion) Private Cooke A. and wounding No. 1074 Pte Bishop H.H. 34th Battalion. I know Arthur Cooke quite well as I am in the same platoon and am certain it was he who was killed, he was a runner. The pill box was a long narrow one which had a partition down itacentre lengthways.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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