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Correspondence Regarding William George Cook (English Home Child)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Category: 
Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Date of Arrival: 
1904
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2012.1053.1

Story Text: 

Admitted - 23rd November, 1903

Age - 11 years

date and place of birth - 11th November, 1892, at Lambeth

Religious Denom of Father - Church of England

Mother - Church of England

If baptized - Yes (Church of England)

Full agreement, with Canada Clauses, signed by father

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Colour of Hair - Brown Complexion - Pale

Colour of Eyes - Brown Vacc. Marks - 4 l.a.

Height - 4 ft. 13/4 m. Weight - 56 lbs.

Chest Measure - 25 m. Condition of body - Fairly developed

REMARKS BY DEMDICAL OFFCIER - HAS HAD BAD EYES

Mr. F.G. Gosden (lay assitance at St. Thomas Church, Lambeth), residing at 15 King Edward Street, Southwark, who had been instrumental in removing the two little sisters from their terrible surroundings, applied for the admisson of William to these Homes. One of our enquiry offficers reported at great length upon the case, the following being the chief particulars:

The mother, Hannah Cook, died in her confinement, in March, 1902. A few months after her death, the father, taking his children, cohabited with a woman named Nellie Mayo, whom our enquiry-officer (from his late offcial capacity) knows to be " a very drunken, foul-mouthed, violent prostitute ". At the various places of residence of Cook and this woman the same story of drunkness, rpostitution, and cruelty to the children was disclosed. She is a Roamn catholic, and had placed William in St. George's (Catholic) School, where he was being clothed and fed at the time of the application. It was stated that unless the decision to admit him to these Homes was sent within a week William would be permanently handed over to the Roman Catholic authorities. This the father did not wish to happen, as all of his children had been baptized in the Protestant faith, and he desired that William should be brought up in the faith of his whole family. The father is anxious to get away from the woman. She has pratically sold off his home and has driven the borther, Albert from the house. The father, for the past fifteen months, has been employed as "plateman " at the Arundell Hotel, Strand, and from the head waiter it appears that he has given satisfaction, although the fact of his coming to work with terrific cuts on his head, his face "clawed " and his appearance generally disfigured by Mayo, made his dismissal very possible. The father wished to be communicated with at the hotel, fearing a disturbance and ill-treatment for William Mayo got to know he was to come her and not to the Catholic Home. He is hard-working man, somewhat given to drink.

William has led a terrible life for the last fifteen months at the hands of this protitute, who has cruelly beaten him, and often made him get up in the early hours of the morning to wait on her in her drunken state.

Relatives:

Father - Albert Cook "plateman " at the Arundle Hotel, Arundel Street, Strand, at 16s per week and food, living with a prostitute at 9 Pear Tree Street, Waterloo Road, S.E.

Brother - Albert Edward Cook (15), supposed to be working at Canterburry, Kent

Sisters - Nellie (12) and Alice (8), both in Miss Sherman's Homes, West Square, Southwark, the father having to pay 3s. Each for their maintenance.

Uncles (paternal) - George Cook, Australia, not heard of for past thirty years; Frederick Cookm married, was in Birmingham when last heard of six years ago.

Aunts (paternal) - Emily, married, name and address unknown, at Cheltenham when last heard of twenty-five years ago: Alice and kate, names and address not known.

Grandparents (paternal and maternal) all dead.

Subsequent Report

24th march, 1904 - on this date William was ent to Canada.

COOK, WILLIAM GEORGE - CLIFORD, ONTARIO, N0G 1M0

BORN: LONDON, ENGLAND - 4 NEWHARN TERRACE NEAR HERCULES ROAD, WESTMINSTER BRIDGE ROAD

BIRTH DATE: 17 NOVEMBER 1892 - PARENTS DIED IN EARLY YOUTH AND IMMIGRATED TO CANADA ABOUT 1900 THROUGH THE DR.BERNARDO, HOME RAISED BY ALBERT PATTERSON IN HOWICK TWP, HURON COUNTY, ONTARIO

HISTORY: LOST THREE FINGERS THROUGH AN INDUSTRIUAL ACCIDENT AND WAS REFUSED BY THE CANADIAN ARMY IN 1915. WENT TO ENGLAND AND JOINED THE BRITISH IMPERIAL ARMY, JUNE 6TH 1915.

REGIMENTAL NUMBER 201445, 3RD BATTALION ROYAL HAMPSIRE REGIMENT, ROIVATE 1ST CLASS AND MACHINE GUNNER

SERVED IN INDIA AND MESOPATAMIA, CONTRACTED MARALIA FEVER.

DISCHARGED HONOURABLY 19 AUGUST 1919.

NOW RECIEVES "BURNED OUT " PENSION FORM BRITISH ARMY.