Frank Cooke

Bank: Westminster Bank

Place of work: Nantwich branch

Died: 5 June 1942


Frank Oswald Cooke was born on 27 November 1916, the son of Jessie and Charles Oswald Cooke. He was educated at Crewe Secondary School and Sir John Deane's School, Northwich. In July 1935 he followed in his father's footsteps by joining the staff of Westminster Bank, working initially at Crewe branch and, from November 1937, at Nantwich. Outside work he was an enthusiastic sportsman, playing cricket for Crewe and Nantwich rugby union clubs and cricket for Sandbach, where his father was the local Westminster Bank branch manager. 


As war loomed in summer 1939 Cooke joined the territorial army, and at the outbreak of war in September he was called up for active service in the Cheshire Regiment. He served in France up to the evacuation in 1940, and in March 1941 transferred to the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He gained his pilot's wings that October.


Sergeant Cooke died on 5 June 1942, after his plane had been damaged over enemy territory and crashed on its return to base. He was 25 years old. His Wing Commander wrote to Mr and Mrs Cooke, 'Sergeant Cooke showed great promise as an operational pilot, and his keenness and obvious ability was a fine example to others. I personally had the highest regard for him, and considered him amongst my best and ablest NCOs. He was a man who clearly realised what he was fighting for, and fully appreciated the dangers of his hazardous calling.'

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