Topic: Clement Frank Cookson

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action in the aftermath of the Passchendaele attack.

Private Clement Frank Cookson – 6/1494

Clement was born at Templeton on 28th December 1893, fourth son of Arthur and Agnes Cookson, of Lincoln. Before enlisting he was a farm worker for Mr W. A. Scaife of Culverdon. He had previous military experience having served with the 13th Regiment, Canterbury and West Coast. He was 5ft 4½ tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair. He also had a scar on both his left index finger and his left thigh.

Clement enlisted on 11th December 1914 and was assigned to the 3rd Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion. He embarked on 14th February 1915 for Suez, Egypt arriving on 26th March. From there he joined the Battalion at Gallipoli on 9th May. He survived through the battles of May only to fall ill with pneumonia and was admitted to a hospital ship on 26 July 1915, for evacuation to medical aid at Malta. Arriving there on 31st July he was diagnosed with enteric fever, the name used in those days for typoid. From there he was sent via the Hospital ship Letitia tor England. After treatment over the following three months he was finally sent to Grey Towers, the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital near Hornchurch. He was attached to the Reserve Battalion at Sling on 10 August 1916 and it was not until 30 March 1917 that he marched out to Codford and transferred to the 3rd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment. He made another change, this time to the 4th Brigade at Codford on 3rd May. The 4th Infantry Brigade was officially formed on 15 March 1917 at Codford, the command depot of the NZEF. Its core units were four infantry battalions specifically formed for the brigade, these being the third battalions of the Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago regiments. Its men were drawn from fresh replacements newly arrived in England, men recovered from wounds and already at Codford and finally, experienced men specifically sent from France. However one of the conditions of its formation was that it could be used to supply replacements for the New Zealand Division. Clement was duly transferred back to the 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion Canterbury Regiment on 2nd April and sent on to France on 28 May. He was killed in action in the field in the last day of the fighting for Passchendaele on 18 October, aged 24. On 18 October, II Anzac Corps was relieved by the Canadians. Clement's body was not found or identified and his name is inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, N.Z. Apse, Panel 2. In New Zealand Clement is remembered on the Lincoln Roll of Honour.

Researched and written by L M Seaton. If you have a photograph of this soldier please contact lmseaton@clear.net.nz

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Clement Frank Cookson


First Names:Clement Frank
Last Name:Cookson
Date of Birth:28 December 1893
Place of Birth:Templeton
Date of Death:18 October 1917
Place of Death:Ypres, Belgium
Memorial or Cemetery:Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing
Age at death:24
User Name:L. M. Seaton
Other names known by:Clem
Occupation before enlisting:Farm hand
Marital Status:Single
Nominal Roll:147
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Enlistment details:11th December 1914
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of Arthur and Agnes Cookson, of Lincoln, Canterbury.
Service Number:6/1494
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:14 February 1915
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima or Navua or Warrimoo
Theatres of War:Gallipoli and France
Cause of Death:Killed in action
Other biographical information:Arthur Cookson (father), Box 24, Lincoln