The discovery of George Cook’s medal

George Cooks medal

George Cooks medal

In December of 2005 a metal detectorist from Claydon asked permission to search the grassed area behind Bramford Victory Hall.  Permission was duly granted and the following month he unearthed a medal from World War One which was handed to the Hall’s Trustees.
Investigations revealed that it was the Victory medal awarded to Driver G C Cook Royal Artillery and that he died of wounds on 3rd November 1916.
George Charles Cook was the son of William and Ellen Cook and in 1901 the family were living in Parish Pond, Bramford:

William, 49 born Elmsett (Blacksmith)
Ellen, 50 born Occold
William E., 28, born Somersham (Harness Maker)
Henry T., 26 born Somersham (Blacksmith)
Thomas S., 24 born Somersham (Labourer at Chemical Works)
Benjamin S. H., 20 born Somersham (Milkman, Agricultural, Cattle)
George C., 13

William senior died in 1903 and at some time Ellen moved to Papermill Lane in Claydon and was there in 1911 with a daughter, Carrie, and son George, who worked as a gardener.  Very little is known of George’s service in the army only that his service number was 19357 in the Royal Field Artillery (later to become the Royal Artillery).  He had crossed to France on 20 July 1915 and would have qualified for the British War Medal and the 1914-15 Star in addition to the Victory medal that was found.
The circumstances of the medal ending up here can only be guessed at but it is likely that his mother could have worn it at a memorial service in Bramford Church and lost it while walking in the grounds of the Hall.  It is known that George’s older brothers Thomas Stephen Cook and Benjamin Sydney Hunt Cook also died in the war.   Both these brothers had married with Thomas living in Bramford and Benjamin in Waveney Road, Ipswich.  Thomas is commemorated on the village memorial in Bramford Church and Benjamin is on the Ipswich War memorial in Christchurch Park.
George is recorded on the Claydon Memorial on the front of the village hall in the street. His medal has been restored with a ribbon and is now in the care of a family member.